Gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world.According to WHO, 88 million cases of gonorrhoea are diagnosed every year. It is commonly known as “clap” or “drip”. It is an easily curable disease but if left untreated, it might lead to serious complications like infertility in both men and women.Let’s know more about it.
It is caused by a bacterium namely ‘Neisseria gonorrhoeae’ or ‘gonococcus’. The infection gets transmitted by having sex with an already infected person. The infection is common in people having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with infected individuals. An infected mother can also transmit the disease to the new born during birth. The bacterium has affinity to the cells of cervix in females and urinary tract in both males and females.
The males might experience symptoms like burning sensation during urination and discharge from the penis. Females complain of vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, pain during sexual intercourse. In people participating in oral or anal sex, there can be symptoms like burning in the throat, swollen glands or anus.These symptoms usually present 10 days after contracting the infection. However, 1 out of every 10 men and 50% of the men do not present with any symptoms.
The bacterium mainly gets transmitted mainly by direct sexual contact, through exchange of body fluid. It is however not transmitted by kissing, hugging, sharing towels and baths, toilet seats, swimming pool or touching.
Diagnosis and treatment:
After visiting the doctor, the doctor will take vaginal secretions sample in females and urethral secretions sample in males. Staining and sample cultures will confirm the diagnosis.
The treating doctor may prescribe some oral medications or injectable medicine. It is important that the sexual partner should also be treated simultaneously. As if a repeat sexual contact with an infected person may cause reinfection. It is also required to visit the treating doctor for a follow up after one or two weeks. Having sexual intercourse during this time period is unadvised.
Gonorrhoea in pregnancy:
gonorrhoea in pregnant women may cause spontaneous abortion or pre mature delivery. The mother can transmit the to the baby during child birth. It can also hence affect the new born baby’s eyes, joints etc.
The safe practices should be practiced to avoid infection of the STDs. Using condoms correctly during sexual intercourse is 100% effective to avoid getting infected with gonorrhoea. Avoiding sexual relations with multiple sexual partners also reduces the risk of infections. Having monogamous sexual relationship with an uninfected partner reduces the chances of infection.
If left untreated it can give rise to serious problems. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women which leads to blocked fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy or infertility. In males, it can infect the testicles and cause reduced fertility. It is also associated with the risk of prostate cancer. Some other uncommon but serious complications include heart infection and meningitis. It can also affect joints and cause skin lesions.
If you suspect an infection, then avoiding sexual contact and visiting a doctor is recommended.