- 1 What is gonorrhea?
- 2 Prevention of gonorrhea
What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea or blenorrhea is an infectious disease of inflammatory nature of the genitourinary tract that mainly affects the vagina and urethra.
It is caused by bacteria, gonococci – Neisseria ghonorrhoeae – which tends to settle in the mucous membranes of the genital and urinary tract and the tissues around them.
Whom does gonorrhea affect?
It is a disease usually transmitted through sexual contact (sexually transmitted disease) but also the pregnant women can transmit to their sons or daughters, under certain conditions, at the time of delivery.
Consequences of gonorrhea
- If properly treated, usually disappears after a few days of treatment.
- When left untreated, it can cause serious disturbances to the body, including:
- Infections of the circulatory system
- Kidney problems
- Infections of body organs including the brain
- Joint infections
- Male or female sterility
Causes of gonorrhea
Gonorrhea or blennorrhea is caused by gonococcal infection. There are three routes of transmission:
- Through sex: This occurs because the lining of the genitals, rectum or mouth of an infected person comes in contact with mucous membranes of the genitals, rectum or mouth of an uninfected person.
- Therefore, the sexual practices that determine the possibility of contact are the direct contact of the genitals (penispenis, penisvulva) anal penetration, vaginal or oralgenital. It is not necessary to exist ejaculation to become infected.
- Through the conjunctiva: This can occur at birth when the conjunctiva (mucous membrane of the eyelids or the eye) of the baby comes into contact with the vaginal mucosa or the mucosa of the cervix of an infected mother. This rate of gonorrhea, if not properly treated, can cause serious eye damage and even cause blindness.
- Indirect transmission: When the mucosa of the genitals, rectum or mouth enter in contact with an object infected with gonococci. (Underwear, public toilets, towels, toothbrushes, etc.). This type of infection is very rare because the bacteria that causes gonorrhea lives little outside the human body.
Male symptoms of gonorrhea
- Asymptomatic: Many times there are no apparent symptoms but the disease continues its course.
The infected man has the ability to transmit it to another man or another woman without realizing they have it. It is believed that 10% of infected men have no symptoms so they have a great ability to transmit it unknowingly.
Even after initial symptoms appear, the disease may continue even if its asymptomatic.
- Symptomatic: The main initial symptoms of gonorrhea in men include:
- Stinging and difficulty urinating. Needing to urinate more and more frequently. Production of a kind of white or yellow mucus or green pus through the penis. These symptoms occur because the bacteria has been placed in the urethra (gonococcal urethritis)
- Pain when swallowing, pharyngitis. It occurs when the bacteria has infected oropharyngeal mucosa. (Gonococcal pharyngitis)
- Itching in the anus, anal yellowish green discharge, constant need to evacuate, blood in stool, swollen lymph nodes in the groin They take place when the bacteria has infected anal mucosa.
Complications or symptoms in men
When the disease is not treated properly, it can evolve to produce the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in urinating caused by narrowing of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside (stenosis).
- Sensation of well being when urination has emptied bladder , whereas burning when urination is taking place. Pain in the lower back or kidneys, chills. In this case it may be caused because bacteria have inflamed prostate. (Prostatitis)
- Pain in the testicles, fever, malaise, due to possible inflammation of the epididymis, located at the top of each testicle (Epididymitis). It can can cause male infertility.
- Other possible symptoms from complications caused by this disease:
- Pain in the pelvis or abdomen and possibly fever, caused by inflammation of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis)
- Lack of urine in urination, fluid accumulation in the legs, ankles, or body, itching skin, vomiting, headache, thinness, shortness of mind,… All these symptoms caused by kidney failure.
- Generalized infections of the blood.
- Pain in the joints caused by gonococcal arthritis.
Female symptoms of gonorrhea
- Asymptomatic: In women the percentage of infected people who do not have symptoms is very high, estimated to reach 40%, therefore the chances that an infected woman can infect another woman or another man are very high.
- Symptomatic: The main symptoms of gonorrhea in women are:
- Discharge of yellowish or greenish pus through vagina. These symptoms occur because the bacteria has been placed in the cervix (Gonococcal Cervicitis)
- Pain on swallowing, sore throat (It occurs when the bacteria has infected oropharyngeal mucosa)
- Itching in the anus, anal discharge or constant need to evacuate. (It occurs when the bacteria has infected anal mucosa)
Complications symptoms in women
When the disease is not treated properly it can evolve to produce the following symptoms:
- Pain in the lower back or abdomen, painful intercourse, vaginal bleeding outside the period (metrorrhagia), lack of menstruation (amenorrhea). These symptoms are caused mainly by inflammation of the uterus (metritis) and subsequent healing of the affected tissue or inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis or PID pelvic inflammatory disease ) and subsequent healing of the inflamed tissue. When it affects both tubes, it can cause female infertility.
- Pain in the pelvis or abdomen and possibly fever, caused by inflammation of the cervix. (Cervicitis) or the abdominal cavity (peritonitis)
- Itching and burning in the vagina or vulva caused by vaginal inflammation or vulvar cancer. (Gonococcal Vulvovaginitis). It is more common in young girls
- Other possible symptoms from complications caused by this disease are:
- Generalized infections of the blood.
- Pain in the joints caused by gonococcal arthritis.
Prevention of gonorrhea
How to prevent gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a disease confined to the past. Although it was one of the most dangerous and deadly disease until the discovery of penicillin, today it is a sexually transmitted infection that, most frequently, can weaken the body or even cause death if not treated properly.
According to statistics conducted in the United States, there are each year nearly half a million cases diagnosed. It is believed to exist about 2 million people infected, which represents 1 in 130.
The gonorrhea bacterium has a great power of infection. It is estimated that the chances of infection after holding a single sexual contact with an infected person reaches 60 or 90%. Young people between 15 and 30 years are especially vulnerable.
They represent the group with a greatest potentially risk of getting it, because they are more sexually active and more likely to change partners. Statistically, 80 or 90% of cases of gonorrhea were detected in this group.
There are no vaccines for this disease. The only way to ensure that there is no contagion is to abstain from sex or to to have it with a stable partner who is not infected for sure.
Proper use of condoms, though not fully guarantee the contagion, greatly reduces the risk, so that one should always use them in any sexual relationship with another person other than his or her regular partner.
Therefore, we recommend a periodic review to determine an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment in the early stages of this disease to any person who engages in high-risk sex: Sex practices with non-regular partners without condoms, sex with multiple persons, or any person having or suspected to have a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
Diagnostics and treatment of gonorrhea
It is very important to see a doctor when one has symptoms that could indicate the presence of the disease or when in doubt of its possible existence as a result of maintaining an unsafe relationship.
After contact, the disease usually takes from 2 to 8 days to be manifested. Sometimes it can take up to 30 days.
Gonorrhea is diagnosed through a urine test or a series of possible infected samples collected from the medical patients. Among the main evidence is the so-called Gram stein test that can show through the microscope the presence of gonococci in the sample.
The treatment involves the use of antibiotics. Penicillin was initially used, but the development of strains resistant to antibiotics forced to use other powerful medications. Still, some strains are resistant to these last medications.
It is the duty of the person who has been diagnosed with this disease to communicate it to the partner or people he or she had sex with. This will allow to discover a possible infection to apply an advanced treatment, which will facilitate the healing and will make it more difficult to expand.
It also required the patient or carrier of the disease to abstain from sex while undergoing a treatment. Only one’s doctor, through suitable analysis, can assure that the sick person and is completely healed. The cure for this disease does not protect the individual from any further infections.
Gonorrhea often occurs in association with other sexually transmitted diseases, so when diagnostic tests are performed, they also commonly include tests for other diseases, such as chlamydia or AIDS.
Natural treatment of the gonorrhea
The natural treatment of the gonorrhea involves using a series of natural resources that can help conventional treatments to cure or make the body more resistant to infection.
More information on the natural treatment of the gonorrhea.
Characteristics of gonorrhea
19 March, 2019