Gonorrhea is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that are transmitted sexually from the body to the body. Infection affects equally both women and men. Most often it suffers from a urethra, rectum or throat. In women, the infection can also spread to the cervix.
Prevention of gonorrhea is considered relatively easy, since the disease is usually transmitted sexually. Nevertheless, newborn children can suffer from it if the infection is diagnosed in the mother. In newborns, bacteria most often affect the eyes.
Gonorrhea is a common ailment, which in most cases does not cause any symptoms, which is why many people do not even suspect they have a bacterial infection.
In order to minimize the risk of contracting a disease such as gonorrhea, prevention is performed by one of the following alternative methods:
- abstaining from sexual intercourse;
- use latex condoms during sexual intercourse;
- observance of the principle of mutual monogamy (intimate relations with a single partner).
All three of these methods can equally be used to prevent other sexually transmitted infections.
The patient does not always immediately find out that he has contracted the infection, therefore, to prevent a possible illness, doctors recommend that you get familiar with the information on the topic "gonorrhea" in advance. The causative agent, the mechanism of transmission, symptoms, prevention, treatment - all this is described in sufficient detail and accessible to the layman language. Presented information will be especially useful, if you still found signs of malaise. Most often they are manifested in the genital tract.
If the genital tract is infected
To diagnose gonorrhea in men, you can by the following symptoms:
- painful urination;
- unusual discharge from the glans penis, outwardly similar to pus;
- pain or swelling in one testicle.
In women, the disease can be manifested as follows:
- increase in the volume of vaginal discharge;
- painful urination;
- vaginal bleeding between menstruation, in particular after vaginal intercourse;
- stomach ache;
- pain in the pelvis.
If other parts of the body are infected
If you suspect that you have a disease like gonorrhea, the preventive measures taken after the appearance of the characteristic symptomatology are already useless. Although the infection is more often found in the genital tract, it can also affect:
- The rectum. In this case, the signs of infection are itching in the anus, purulent discharge from the rectum, spots of bright red blood on the toilet paper, and sudden difficulties in emptying the bowels (need to strain and stiffen, constipation, other functional disorders).
- Eyes. If gonorrhea affects the eyes, there is pain syndrome, increased sensitivity to light and purulent discharge from one or both eyes.
- Throat. Symptoms of pathology include sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
- Bundles. If one or more ligaments are infected with bacteria (septic, or infectious, arthritis), the affected areas can become warm, red, swollen and extremely painful, especially when moving.
When to see a doctor
Register for a medical consultation if you have found one or more of the above symptoms of infection. Even if the signs of an illness have a different cause, in the modern world, gonorrhea is widespread - preventive measures recommended by a qualified doctor will help you find peace of mind.
Consult a specialist if the infection is diagnosed in your partner. Since gonorrhea can be asymptomatic, it is necessary to check with a doctor even if there is no suspicion of infection. Absence of adequate treatment in view of asymptomatic disease will result in re-infection of your partner.
Pathology is caused by bacteria called "gonococcus," more precisely - Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These harmful microorganisms are able to travel from person to person during sexual intercourse, including oral, anal and vaginal sex.
Prevention of gonorrhea in men and women may be inadequate if patients are at risk. The circumstances that increase the probability of infection with an infectious disease include:
- young age;
- the emergence of a new partner;
- frequent change of partners;
- gonorrhea diagnosed in the past, even if it was completely cured;
- presence of other untreated sexually transmitted infections.
In the absence of timely treatment, the ailment can lead to the development of serious complications, including:
- Female infertility. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes and thereby cause an inflammatory disease of the pelvic organs. The latter, in turn, leads to the appearance of scars on the fallopian tubes and complications of pregnancy, and subsequently - to infertility. Inflammation of the pelvic organs is a very serious illness requiring immediate treatment.
- Male infertility. If the specific prevention of gonorrhea is ignored and the man does not pay due attention to his health, epididymitis-inflammatory process develops in a small collapsed tube (appendage) in the back of the testicles, where the seminal canals (epididymis) are located. This inflammation can be easily removed with the help of appropriate therapy, but ignoring the indisposition can lead to male infertility.
- The spread of infection to ligaments and other parts of the body. Bacteria that cause gonorrhea can enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body, including ligaments. As a result, skin rashes, fever, the appearance of sores on the skin, pain syndrome, swelling and stiffness of ligaments are observed.
- Increased risk of contracting HIV / AIDS. Gonorrhea disease increases the patient's vulnerability to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leading to a terrible diagnosis of AIDS. If a patient has both gonorrhea and HIV at the same time, he will almost 100 percent of the time pass on both infections to a sexual partner.
- Complications in children. If a mother is diagnosed with gonorrhea, prevention in children is no less important. Newborn babies born through natural births are at risk. They have an infection that can cause blindness, skull damage and the development of other infectious diseases.
Before a visit to a doctor
If you have any suspicions, you should first contact the therapist. If the disease has already caused complications, the doctor will redirect you to the appropriate specialists.
Since medical advice is inherently often limited in duration, it is better to prepare for a clinic visit in advance. It is recommended that the following measures be taken:
- Specify whether you need to follow any rules or restrictions before visiting a doctor. In some cases, specialists require early adherence to a certain diet or temporary withdrawal from any action or bad habits.
- Make a detailed list of all the symptoms you are experiencing - even if it seems that these feelings, discharge or other signs of the disease are not directly related to the reason for your visit.
- List on paper all the medications that you are taking now. It should also be added to this list of vitamin or mineral complexes and other biologically active food supplements.
- Write down the questions you want to ask the specialist.
Questions to the doctor
Since the consultation is strictly in the allotted time and often is not long enough, prepare in advance the questions that you plan to ask the therapist. It is advisable to rank them from the most important to the least important. If the main theme of your visit is the treatment and prevention of gonorrhea, the questions may sound like this:
- Is gonorrhea the cause of my symptoms?
- What kind of research should I go through?
- Should you be tested for other sexually transmitted infections?
- Do I have to check my partner for gonorrhea?
- How long should I wait before I resume sexual activity?
- How to prevent this disease in the future?
- What are the complications of infection should be feared?
- I am pregnant. How is prophylaxis of gonorrhea in newborns?
- Is there an alternative to the medication prescribed by you?
- Can I get acquainted with thematic printed materials? Or do you recommend specific websites?
- How can I tell if I need to be at the reception after the therapy is over?
Of course, you can supplement this rough list with any other questions that concern you. And the more you should not be shy to ask the doctor what you thought incomprehensible in his explanations.
What to expect from a doctor
If you are concerned about the alleged gonorrhea, prevention, treatment and diagnosis should be recommended by your doctor. To give such recommendations, a specialist will first ask you his own questions. Among them are usually listed as follows:
- When did you first start experiencing symptoms characteristic of an infectious disease?
- What nature are the signs of the disease? Do they last - or do they happen from time to time?
- How intense are the manifestations of malaise?
- Have you been exposed to infectious diseases that are sexually transmitted?
Even if during the appointment for consultation in the clinic you were not told what you can and can not do before taking a doctor, experts recommend refraining from sexual contacts right up to visiting the therapist. Notify your partner that you have found signs of an infectious disease so that he can make timely calls to the clinic and undergo appropriate examinations.
To know exactly whether the prevention of gonorrhea has proved effective or if harmful bacteria still exist in your body, the doctor must analyze the cell sample. Cell samples are collected in one of two ways:
- Analysis of urine. A standardized study reveals the presence of bacteria in the urethra.
- Smear of the affected area. A swab from the throat, urethra, vagina or rectum allows you to collect microorganisms, the nature of which specialists will later determine in the laboratory.
Especially for women, some pharmacological companies produce kits for the diagnosis of gonorrhea in the home. The kit includes materials for self-sampling from the vagina. Collected secretions together with samples of cells of the vaginal epithelium are also sent for research to a specialized laboratory. Typically, these kits include questionnaires in which you can specify how the consumer wants to receive information about the test results. Sometimes the results of the research are available online, but in most cases, manufacturers offer consumers simply to call a toll-free hotline.
Treatment of adults
Prevention of gonorrhea in women and men does not always produce the desired effect. In case of infection by harmful microorganisms, the doctor prescribes antibiotic treatment. Given that recently there have appeared new strains of gonococci, resistant to traditional medicines, many experts recommend the use of the antibiotic ceftriaxone in the form of an injection simultaneously with azithromycin or doxycycline. The last two antibiotics are taken orally.
According to the results of recent studies, it can be concluded that high efficiency is characterized by the use of hemifloxacin or the injection of gentamycin together with the oral administration of azithromycin. This option is especially relevant for patients with an allergy to ceftriaxone.
Treatment of children
If a mother has gonorrhea, prevention and treatment of the disease in newborns begins immediately after they are born. To prevent the development of infection in the eyes of small children instilled special drops. If the ailment still affects the eyes, they switch to antibiotic treatment.
Prevention of gonorrhea
Take your own measures to protect yourself from infection with a bacterial infection:
- Use a latex condom during intercourse. Without a doubt, abstinence from intimate relationships is, perhaps, the only true way to completely prevent the disease. However, for a full-fledged existence a person needs a stable sex life. To protect yourself from the dangers that entails each sexual intercourse, you need to use latex condoms. This rule applies not only to vaginal, but also to anal and oral sex.
- Ask your partner to be screened for sexually transmitted infections.
- Do not have sex with people who are clearly suffering from specific symptoms of infection - especially a potentially dangerous disease, such as gonorrhea. Prevention briefly reduces to the following: if your partner complains of painful urination or the appearance of a rash on the skin of the genitals, refrain from intimate relationships with this person.
- If you are at risk, take a regular check-up at the clinic.
- During traditional sex, along with a latex condom it is desirable to use spermicides.