Gonorrhea is a venereal disease that is more common in men than women. It is triggered by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Individuals can contract the disease during sexual intercourse of different types (genital, anal, oral) with a person infected by the gonococcal virus. It can be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth.
With more than 50 percent of infected people worldwide, this infection is one of the most common STDs. The gonococcal virus or Neisseria gonorrhoeae pathogen develops in the body and affects the sexual organs and the kidneys, bladder, throat, rectum, and eyes.
The infection that attacks the sexual organs is called genital gonorrhea while the other variant that affects the non-sexual organs is extra-genital gonorrhea.
Symptoms of gonorrhea
Most often, there are no symptoms to indicate the presence of the disease when it is in the first stage. Hence, it qualifies as an asymptomatic disease, especially in women. If the gonococcal bacterium is localized in the throat or anus, the symptoms become more difficult to detect. An infection that is not discovered in time may worsen and lead to serious health consequences.
The incubation period hovers between 4 and 20 days and the visible symptoms vary according to the sex of the affected person. In men, gonorrhea is revealed by signs, such as the flow of purulent fluid of yellowish color in the urethra and pain during urination. It can also cause swelling of the testicles and pain during sex.
In women, the symptoms appear only very rarely (70 to 80 percent of cases) and if they occur, they include abdominal and pelvic pain, slight swelling of the cervix, vagina or vulva and vaginal discharge with a yellowish color. Women can also bleed in the cervix or vaginal bleeding between periods. In infants, it affects the eyes.
As with all sexually transmitted infections, the prevention of gonorrhea is based on the consistent use of condoms (even for oral sex), in order to avoid having sperm being exposed to the mucous membranes: in the mouth, vagina or the rectum. Other preventive measures include abstinence and a monogamous relationship with a single unaffected partner.
In addition, it is vital to perform regular gynecological checks to make sure there is no danger and practice good hygiene of the genitals. These measures make it possible to better avoid the risk of the contract the STD.
The main risk factor for STD is high-risk sex, which is unprotected. If in doubt, it is also recommended to carry out an STD home test. Early detection allows rapid medical management and limits the risk of infecting others.
Treatment of gonorrhea
To treat gonorrhea, medical practitioners use antibiotics, such as Azithromycin and Suprax. The medications are recognized as effective remedies for the cure of this venereal disease.
The treatments are administered by injection or orally and they come with active substances that have the capacity to annihilate the gonococcal virus. They achieve this purpose by slowing down the activity of the enzyme responsible for virus’ survival in the body.