How to know if you are experiencing Gonorrhoea symptoms?
Dr. Danish Ali
March 02, 2021
There are several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in circulation and among the more common ones is gonorrhoea. It is caused by a bacterium and is passed through sexual contact. Gonorrhoea symptoms are usually quite easy to identify as they mainly cause discomfort in the lower abdomen and genital region of the body. In women, this infection can cause serious, lasting complications, which is why early treatment is key.
However, this is only possible if you know what the early signs of gonorrhoea are and what to look for. To help you better understand this condition, here’s everything about the different gonorrhoea signs and symptoms, its causes, treatment, and ways to prevent infection.
What is gonorrhoea caused by?
The first and most important thing to know is that gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This gonorrhoea causative agent usually targets the warmer, moister regions of the body. Areas such as the throat, eyes, urethra, anus, vagina, and the female reproductive tract are particularly susceptible to infection. Gonorrhoea transmission usually takes places during sexual intercourse, be it oral, vaginal, or anal.
What are the common gonorrhoea symptoms?
When infected by the gonorrhoea bacteria, the symptoms will start to present themselves within 2 weeks. In some cases, the symptoms of gonorrhoea may show up within 2 days, while sometimes, the signs may not be noticeable. In the case of the latter, the infected people are called asymptomatic carriers. These can still spread gonorrhoea and it is quite common for asymptomatic carriers to spread the infection as there are no warning signs to alert anyone.
However, when the symptoms do appear, there are clear distinctions between the genders. Gonorrhoea symptoms in women and men are different and here is list of both for your information.
Gonorrhoea symptoms – Men:
In men, gonorrhoea symptoms usually appear within a week of the person being infected. The first, and most obvious, sign is the painful sensation felt during urination. Take this as a clear indicator of infection and points to the need for treatment. In addition to this, here are the other symptoms to expect.
- Increased urge to urinate
- Sore throat
- Swelling at the opening of the penis
- Pain in the testicles
- Pus-like discharge from the penis
- Pain in the rectum
Gonorrhoea symptoms – Women:
Gonorrhoea symptoms in women generally start off mild, which is why they are often confused for those of other illnesses. They resemble the characteristics of a bacterial or vaginal yeast infection. However, as it worsens, these are symptoms that a woman will experience.
- Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
- Sore throat
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Discharge from the vagina
- Increased urge to urinate
In both men and women, the symptoms will progressively worsen as the infection spreads. Take note of these signs and seek immediate care before more start to appear.
What are the complications of gonorrhoea for men and women?
There are several complications that come with being infected with gonorrhoea and women are a greater risk of developing life-long problems. This is mainly because the infection can travel up the female reproductive tract and cause permanent damage. It can lead to a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease and scarring of the fallopian tubes. This can cause infertility and other pregnancy-related complications. In addition to this, here are other health complications associated with gonorrhoea.
- Infertility in men
- Increased susceptibility to HIV AIDS
- Spread of the infection through the entire body
- Inflammation of the spinal cord or lining of the brain
- Heart valve damage
When the infection gets into the bloodstream, there are particularly nasty complications as the bacterium now infects other parts of the body. It can cause swelling, joint stiffness, fevers, rashes, and skin sores. In some cases, gonorrhoea also affects newborn babies and causes blindness, infections, and sores on the scalp.
What should you expect during a gonorrhoea diagnosis?
To conduct a proper gonorrhoea diagnosis, doctors will conduct a series of tests. Firstly, they may collect a swab sample of the area exhibiting the symptoms. This will then be observed and tested for gonorrhoea. In some cases, a blood test may be required, and the doctor will draw blood from the joint where the symptoms are present. Lastly, some doctors use the sample to
grow a culture of gonorrhoea to confirm the diagnosis. This can take several days to confirm. In many cases, a gonorrhoea diagnosis can be reached within 24 hours and can take up to 3 days.
What should you expect during gonorrhoea treatment?
The first step in treatment involves an antibiotic that kills the gonorrhoea bacteria. Depending on the bacteria and what it is resistant to, doctors will usually cover all bases by administering medications via injections and pills. Be sure to follow through with any course of treatment prescribed as you can get the infection again and spread it to others.
What are the practices that work toward gonorrhoea prevention?
Since gonorrhoea is a sexual transmitted disease, there are a few reliable ways to prevent an infection.
- Abstain from sexual activity if you perceive risk
- Ensure your partner is tested for STIs
- Get regular gonorrhoea screenings
Dealing with gonorrhoea only requires you to follow the antibiotic course but for proper and timely treatment, it is important that you know the gonorrhoea symptoms in women and men. This helps ensure that you don’t dismiss gonorrhoea for other common health problems. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to pinpoint symptoms exactly and so, it is good to get expert opinion when you are in doubt. To get in touch with top doctors easily, all you need to do is use the Bajaj Finserv Health App.
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