Gonorrhea Symptoms In Men & Women With Treatment
Gonorrhea Symptoms In Men & Women With Treatment.
Gonorrhea is the second highest sexually transmitted disease (STD) after HIV ADIS. It’s caused by infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It tends to infect warm, moist areas of the body, including the: (the fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus).
Gonorrhea passes from person to person through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex. People with numerous sexual partners or those who don’t use a condom are at greatest risk of infection. Behaviors that make a person more likely to engage in unprotected sex also increase the likelihood of infection. In addition, a pregnant woman with untreated gonorrhea can transmit the infection to her baby during childbirth.
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Gonorrhea, also referred to by the slang term “the clap.” The bacteria affects both men and women, and can cause infections in mucous membranes of the:
1. Urethra (the tube that drains urine from the urinary bladder)
6. Female reproductive tract
More than 468,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported to the CDC in 2016 , although the agency estimates that about 820,000 new infections may actually occur each year in the United States. Rates of gonorrhea in the United States have been rising, partly due to changes in testing methods that are picking up more cases and also due to an increasing number of infections seen in men having sex with men, said Barbee, who is also the medical director, Public Health, Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program.
Also check: Reproductive System: Facts, Functions & Diseases
According to Barbee, the large majority of gonorrhea cases are seen primarily in young people ages 30 and under because they are more likely to have sex with multiple partners. And also to sexually active teens, and young adults. Another vulnerable group is men who have sex with men. Higher rates of the infection might be detected in these men until age 40, Barbee said.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae can infect the mucous membranes, or the moist linings, of the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women, and the urethra in women and men.
Risk factors of Gonorrhea
According to the Mayo Clinic, these factors may increase your risk of gonorrhea infection:
- Younger age
- A new sex partner
- A sex partner who has concurrent partners
- Multiple sex partners
- Having previous gonorrhea diagnosis
- Having other sexually transmitted infections
Symptoms of gonorrhea
In many cases of the disease, gonorrhea may not cause any symptoms or only very mild ones. When symptoms do occur, they commonly affect the genitals of men and women. Symptoms usually occur within two to 14 days after exposure to unprotected sex. However, some people infected with gonorrhea never develop noticeable symptoms. It’s important to remember that a person with gonorrhea who doesn’t have symptoms, also called a nonsymptomatic carrier, is still contagious. A person is more likely to spread the infection to other partners when they don’t have noticeable symptoms.
The use of condoms during sexual activity work to prevent gonorrhea, Barbee said. Abstaining from sex or being in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner are two more ways to reduce risk. Other steps to reduce the risk of infection include, not having sex with someone who may have signs or symptoms of an STD, asking a partner if he or she has been tested for STDs, or being screened regularly for gonorrhea if sexually active.
Gonorrhea symptoms in men
Men may not develop noticeable symptoms for several weeks. Some men may never develop symptoms. Typically, the infection begins to show symptoms a week after its transmission. The first noticeable symptom in men is often a burning or painful sensation during urination. As it progresses, other symptoms may include:
1. Greater frequency or urgency of urination
2. A pus-like discharge (or drip) from the penis (white, yellow, beige, or greenish)
3. Swelling or redness at the opening of the penis
4. Swelling or pain in the testicles
5. A persistent sore throat.
The infection will stay in the body for a few weeks after the symptoms have been treated. In rare instances, gonorrhea can continue to cause damage to the body, specifically the urethra and testicles. Pain may also spread to the rectum.
Men who have sex with men are advised to have gonorrhea screening at least once a year, the CDC recommends. But routine screening is not recommended for sexually active heterosexual men.
Gonorrhea symptoms in women
Many women don’t develop any overt symptoms of gonorrhea. When women do develop symptoms, they tend to be mild or similar to other infections, making them more difficult to identify. Gonorrhea infections can appear much like common vaginal yeast or bacterial infections.
1. Discharge from the vagina (watery, creamy, or slightly green)
2. Pain or burning sensation while urinating
3. The need to urinate more frequently
4. Vaginal bleeding between periods or spotting
5. Sore throat
6. Pain upon engaging in sexual intercourse
7. Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
Sexually active women who are younger than 25, or women 25 years and older who have risk factors for gonorrhea, such as multiple partners or a partner who has an STD, should request a yearly screening for the infection, the CDC recommends. Screening for gonorrhea during pregnancy is recommended for sexually active women who are younger than 25, and in older women who are at increased risk for the infection. Screening usually occurs at the first prenatal visit.
The bacteria that cause gonorrhea can not only target cells in the genitals, they can also infect cells in other parts of the body, including the rectum, throat, eyes and joints, according to Mayo Clinic.
Gonorrhea is treated with a two-drug regimen, and both treatments are given on the same day, Doctor Barbee said. She explained that first a person receives a single shot of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, and then a person is given the antibiotic azithromycin, which is taken orally as a single set of pills.
These medications are effective for treating gonorrhea; however, it is possible to develop the STD again if someone has sexual contact with an infected person.
The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are increasingly developing resistance to nearly all of the drugs available to treat it. Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is among the three most urgent drug-resistant health threats to the United States, according to a 2013 CDC report.
“It’s a smart bug that has developed resistance to every first-line therapy since 1930,” Barbee said. Experts aren’t entirely sure why the bacteria continue to evolve and resist nearly every treatment used to control the infection, adding that it could be because the organism is seeing certain drugs a lot or it may be obtaining the resistant mutation from other strains of bacteria.
In 2006, the CDC had five recommended treatment options for gonorrhea, and now more than a decade later, the United States has only one treatment option remaining — a combination of the antibiotics azithromycin and ceftriaxone.
There has already been a case in England of treatment failure, where the infection was resistant to the two antibiotics recommended as the first-choice treatment for gonorrhea, Barbee said. An eventual treatment was found, but the man needed to be hospitalized and given an antibiotic intravenously to successfully clear the infection.
Important of early treatment for gonorrhea
If gonorrhea is not treated, it can lead to the following serious complications and may cause permanent health problems in both women and men:
Infertility in women
In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection in which scar tissue forms that blocks the fallopian tubes and causes long-term pelvic and abdominal pain. PID can lead to a difficulty becoming pregnant and an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that develops outside a woman’s womb.
Infertility in men
Untreated gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles that may lead to infertility. Infection spreads to other areas if untreated, the bacteria may spread to the blood or joints, where it may cause a serious condition known as disseminated gonococcal infection, which can be life threatening. Symptoms of this infection may include skin lesions, painful swelling of joints, fever, infection of the inner lining of the heart and meningitis, an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
Untreated gonorrhea may increase a person’s risk of getting or giving HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Infant complications. When gonorrhea is passed on to a baby at birth, the infection most commonly affects an infant’s eyes and can even lead to blindness if not treated.