PLEASE NOTE! All articles here in this site are informative for common knowledge. Please study different sources for information and visit a local doctor.

 

WHAT IS GONORRHEA?

 

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by the gram-negative bacteria N. gonorrhoeae. This infection is primarily transferred via sexual contact but can also be transferred to newborns during vaginal delivery. N. gonorrhoeae infection can cause local, mucosal and disseminated infection; it can also present itself as symptomatic and asymptomatic.

 

CLINICAL MANIFESTATION OF GONORRHEA

 

Gonorrhea often has local manifestations, and these manifestations differ among men and women.

 

GONORRHEA IN MEN

 

Among men, gonorrhea causes urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis). This is the primary reason most men have difficulty urinating or experiences pain upon urination.

 

GONORRHEA IN WOMEN

 

Among women, urinary tract infection, increased discharges, and itching are the common symptoms; this is because gonorrhea primarily infects the uterine cervix. The most common complication of gonorrhea among women is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is the inflammation of the uterus, peritoneal fluid and the fallopian tubes. Such inflammation then damages the fallopian tubes, and this is one of the common causes of ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Women have more tendencies to be asymptomatic than men. This means the woman may carry the disease even without symptoms such as vaginal discharge and urinary tract or pain during intercourse.

 

GONORRHEA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

 


  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Dyspareunia or painful sexual intercourse
  • Itching
  • Presence of urinary tract infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Burning sensation upon urination (mostly experienced by males)
  • Presence of pus in the urine (mostly experienced by males)
  • Unusual discharges from the penis

In rare cases, gonorrhea may become a systemic infection instead of just a localized one especially if it goes untreated. When the gonorrhea infection goes systemic, it can cause arthritis, bacteremia, and dermatitis. It can also affect the heart valves and the meninges causing gonococcal meningitis.

 

HOW IS GONORRHEA DIAGNOSED?

 

If a person is suspected with gonorrhea has urtheritis, vaginal discharges, rectal discharges and arthritis, he or she is assessed for fever. Aside from that, the medical physician would also get samples from the discharges to do culture and sensitivity studies. Culture and sensitivity studies verify if the infectious agent is in fact N. gonorrhoeae and would also determine the effective antibiotic to eradicate it. Obtaining samples for culture and sensitivity studies vary slightly among males and females.

For males samples are obtained from:

  • Urethra
  • Anal canal
  • Pharynx

For females, samples are obtained from:

  • Endocervix
  • Pharynx
  • Anal canal

The N. gonorrhoeae bacteria are highly susceptible to changes in the environment, so after the samples are obtained, they must be delivered to a laboratory immediately.

 

WHAT IS DONE IF A PERSON HAS GONORRHEA?

 

If a person is diagnosed with gonorrhea, it is reported to a health care facility immediately, this is because cases of gonorrhea are reportable diseases and this action is necessary to prevent further spread of the infection. Diagnosed individuals are required to attend follow up checkups and are also asked to identify sexual partners so screening and treatment can be done. So what is gonorrhea? It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections that can be treated and managed easily especially if affected individuals comply readily.



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