Gonorrhea is an infectious disease caused by sexually transmitted bacteria from the body to the body. Infection affects both women and men equally. The urethra, rectum or throat most often suffers from it. In women, the infection can also spread to the cervix.
Prevention of gonorrhea is considered relatively mild, since the disease is usually sexually transmitted. However, newborns can suffer from it if the infection is diagnosed in the mother. In newborns, bacteria most often affect the eyes.
Gonorrhea is a fairly common ailment, which in most cases does not cause any symptoms, which is why many people do not even suspect that they have a bacterial infection.
In order to minimize the risk of infection with a disease such as gonorrhea, prevention is carried out by one of the following alternative methods:
- abstaining from sexual intercourse;
- using latex condoms during sexual intercourse;
- respect for 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, in order to prevent a possible illness, doctors recommend to get acquainted with the background information on the subject of “gonorrhea” in advance. The causative agent, the mechanism of transmission, symptoms, prevention, treatment - all this is described in sufficient detail and accessible to a layman language. The information provided will be particularly helpful if you still find signs of malaise in yourself. Most often they occur in the genital tract.
If the genital tract is infected
The following symptoms can be used to diagnose gonorrhea in men:
- painful urination;
- unusual discharge from the glans penis, externally similar to pus;
- pain or swelling in one testicle.
In women, the disease can manifest itself as follows:
- increased vaginal discharge;
- painful urination;
- vaginal bleeding between periods, in particular after vaginal intercourse;
- stomach ache;
- pain in the pelvic region.
If other parts of the body are infected
If you suspect a disease such as gonorrhea, the preventive measures taken after the onset of characteristic symptoms will already be useless. Although the infection is more commonly found in the genital tract, it can also affect:
- Rectum. In this case, signs of infection include itching in the anus, purulent discharge from the rectum, bright red blood stains on toilet paper and sudden difficulties in emptying the bowels (the need to strain and strain, constipation, other functional disorders).
- Eyes. If gonorrhea affects the eyes, there is pain, sensitivity to light and purulent discharge from one or both eyes.
- Throat. Symptoms of pathology are pain in the 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 during movements.
When to see a doctor
Sign up for a medical consultation if you find yourself having one or more of the above symptoms of infection. Even if the symptoms of the disease have a different cause, gonorrhea is common in the modern world - preventive measures recommended by a qualified doctor will help you find peace of mind.
Contact a specialist if an infectious disease is diagnosed in your partner. Since gonorrhea is asymptomatic, it should be checked by a doctor even if there is no suspicion of infection. Lack of adequate treatment due to asymptomatic illness will lead to re-infection of your partner.
The pathology is caused by bacteria called “gonococci,” more precisely, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These harmful microorganisms can travel from person to person during sexual intercourse, including oral, anal and vaginal sex.
Prevention of gonorrhea in men and women may not be sufficiently effective if patients are at risk. The circumstances that increase the likelihood of contracting 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;
- the presence of other untreated sexually transmitted infections.
In the absence of timely treatment, the disease 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 thus 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. Pelvic inflammatory disease is a very serious disease that requires immediate treatment.
- Male infertility. If the specific prophylaxis of gonorrhea is ignored and the man does not pay enough attention to his state of health, epididymitis develops - an inflammatory process in a small folded tube (appendage) in the back of the testicles, where the seed channels (epididymis) are located. Such inflammation can be easily removed with appropriate therapy, but ignoring the ailment 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 ulcers on the skin, pain, swelling and stiffness of the ligaments are observed.
- Increased risk of HIV / AIDS. Gonorrhea disease increases the patient's vulnerability to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), leading to the dreaded diagnosis of "AIDS". If a patient has gonorrhea and HIV at the same time, he will almost certainly pass on both infections to his sexual partner with almost one hundred percent.
- Complications in children. If the mother is diagnosed with gonorrhea, prevention in children becomes an equally important task. Newborn babies born by natural childbirth are at risk. In them, the infection can cause blindness, skull damage and the development of other infectious diseases.
Before visiting a doctor
If you have any suspicions, you should first turn to the therapist. If the disease has already caused complications, the doctor will refer you to the appropriate specialists.
Since medical consultations are by nature often limited in duration, it is better to prepare for a visit to the clinic in advance. It is recommended to take the following measures:
- Specify whether to follow any rules or restrictions before visiting a doctor. In some cases, specialists require advance adherence to a certain diet or the temporary rejection of any actions or bad habits.
- Make a detailed list of all the symptoms you experience - even if it seems that these sensations, discharge or other signs of illness are not directly related to the reason for your visit.
- List on paper all medications you are currently taking. It should also be included in this list of vitamin or mineral complexes and other biologically active food additives.
- Write down the questions you want to ask the specialist.
Questions to the doctor
Since the consultation is carried out strictly in the allotted time and is often not long enough, prepare in advance the questions that you plan to ask the therapist. It is advisable to rank them from most important to least important. If the main topic of your visit is treatment and prevention of gonorrhea, the questions may be as follows:
- Is gonorrhea causing my symptoms?
- What research do I need to go through?
- Should I be screened for other sexually transmitted infections?
- Does my partner also need to be checked for infection with gonorrhea?
- How long does it take to wait before resuming sexual activity?
- How to prevent this disease in the future?
- What complications of infection should beware?
- I am pregnant. How is the prevention of gonorrhea in newborns?
- Is there an alternative to medication prescribed by you?
- Can I get acquainted with thematic printed materials? Or would you recommend specific websites?
- How to determine whether I need to come to the reception after the end of therapy?
Of course, you can add this approximate list with any other questions you are concerned about. And the more you should not hesitate to ask the doctor what you thought was incomprehensible in his explanations.
What to expect from a doctor
If you are concerned about suspected gonorrhea, prevention, treatment and diagnosis should be recommended by a doctor. To make such recommendations, the specialist will first ask you your own questions. Among them are usually listed as follows:
- When did you first start experiencing symptoms characteristic of an infectious disease?
- What nature are signs of the disease? Do they last - or happen from time to time?
- How intense are the manifestations of indisposition?
- Have you been infected with sexually transmitted infections?
Even if you were not told during the appointment at the clinic that you can and cannot be done before receiving a visit to the doctor, experts recommend refraining from having sex until you visit the therapist. Notify your partner that you have found signs of an infectious disease so that he can go to the clinic in time and undergo appropriate examinations.
In order to know for sure whether the prevention of gonorrhea was effective or if harmful bacteria are still present 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 the affected area. A smear from the throat, urethra, vagina or rectum allows you to collect microorganisms, the nature of which experts later determine in laboratory conditions.
Especially for women, some pharmacological companies produce kits for the diagnosis of gonorrhea at home. The kit includes materials for self-taking a vaginal smear. Collected secretions along with samples of vaginal epithelium cells are also sent for research to a specialized laboratory. Typically, such kits include questionnaires in which you can specify in what way the consumer wants to receive information about the test results. Sometimes the research results are available online, but in most cases, manufacturers offer consumers to simply call the toll-free hotline.
Prevention of gonorrhea in women and men does not always produce the desired effect. In the case of infection with harmful microorganisms, the doctor prescribes treatment with antibiotics. Considering that recently new gonococcal strains resistant to traditional medicines have appeared, 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 the use of hemifloxacin or injection of gentamicin together with oral administration of azithromycin is characterized by high efficiency. This option is especially relevant for patients with ceftriaxone allergy.
Treatment of children
If gonorrhea is detected in the mother, prevention and treatment of the disease in newborns begins immediately after their birth. To prevent infection in the eyes of young children, special drops are instilled. If the disease still affects the eyes, go to treatment with antibiotics.
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 - this is probably the only sure way to prevent one hundred percent disease. However, for the full existence of a person requires a stable sex life. To protect yourself from the dangers that each sexual act entails, 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 sexual contact with persons clearly suffering from the specific symptoms of the infection - especially a potentially dangerous illness like gonorrhea. Prevention is briefly summarized as follows: if your partner complains of painful urination or a rash on the skin of the genitals, refrain from intimate relationships with this person.
- If you are at risk, be examined regularly in the clinic.
- During traditional sex, it is advisable to use spermicides along with a latex condom.