Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmitted infection. In %country%, gonorrhoea is usually curable with antibiotics, but can cause serious problems if untreated.

Keywords: gonorrhoea, gonorrhoea in %country%, %country% gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacterium commonly known as the gonococcus. This small organism can only live inside of a human body. It’s very easily transmitted by sexual activity; in %country%, gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It can also be passed from mother to baby during birth.

Symptoms

In many people with the infection, gonorrhoea causes no symptoms at all. When it does cause symptoms, gonorrhoea causes symptoms that are similar to those of chlamydia, and the two infections are often mistaken for each other. In fact, they’re commonly transmitted together, so many people have both infections at once.

Women often have vaginal discharge, pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, swelling of the vulva (the external genitals), and bleeding between periods. Men often have discharge from the penis, burning with urination, and frequent urination. In either gender, the anus can also be infected through anal sex. This can cause discharge and itching or burning of the anus.

Untreated gonorrhoea can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of the deeper reproductive structures in women, or epididymitis, which is an infection of the testicle in men. Either one can lead to permanent infertility. Unfortunately, this can occur even if there were no symptoms of gonorrhoea earlier in the disease.

In more severe cases, untreated gonorrhoea may spread into other parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system. This can be disabling and even fatal. While treatment during this stage of the infection can get rid of the bacteria, the damage already caused will be permanent. This is why early treatment of gonorrhoea is so important.

In pregnant women with gonorrhoea, the infection can be passed to the baby during birth. This causes eye problems and joint problems in the baby, and can lead to blindness. This is why all pregnant women are tested for gonorrhoea, as well as chlamydia (which can cause similar problems).

Testing

The screening test for gonorrhoea is a urine test. This test is easy and painless to perform, but can miss some cases of gonorrhoea. For more accurate diagnosis, a swab test is used. The swab collects some of the discharge if it’s present, or is scraped against the vagina or urethra if there’s no discharge to collect. This test more accurately identifies gonorrhoea.

Treatment

Gonorrhoea is treated with antibiotics. These can be given by injection in the doctor’s office, or you may receive a prescription for pills. Often, more than one antibiotic is used at a time, because the bacteria are becoming more and more commonly resistant to antibiotics.

Keep in mind that gonorrhoea can still be transmitted while taking the antibiotics. You should avoid unprotected sex until at least one week after your symptoms are gone. It’s also important that your partner be treated, even if he or she doesn’t have symptoms.

Prevention

The only way to prevent gonorrhoea is through abstinence from sexual activity. A mutually monogamous sexual relationship will also protect both partners. Those who prefer to have sex with multiple partners should use a condom every time they have sex.