Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. It can infect both males and females.
Gonorrhea most often affects the urethra, rectum or throat. It is most commonly spread through sexual contact.
A woman who is pregnant can pass the infection to her newborn during delivery.
Incubation Period of Gonorrhea
The incubation period of Neisseria gonorrhoeae 2 to 14 days.
Incidence of Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea affects about 0.8% of women and 0.6% of men. An estimated 33 to 106 million new cases occur each year, out of the 498 million new cases of curable STI – which also includes syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Infections in women most commonly occur when they are young adults
Causes of Gonorrhea
The STI is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae and a person who has been infected can become infected again by exposure to someone who is infected, whether or not that person has any infectious signs or symptoms of their own.
Transmission of Gonorrhea
Gonorrhoea is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact and if a person comes into contact with infected semen or infected discharge from the vagina, throat or rectum.
Gonorrhea is most commonly spread through:
• Unprotected (without a condom) vaginal or anal sex
• Oral sex without a condom
• Sharing sex toys.
• This STI can be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby through the placenta.
• Spread through other than sex such as through contaminated objects. These objects have included baths, clothing, and towels. This, however, is very uncommon. The bacteria typically do not survive outside the body and usually will rapidly die within minutes to hours.
Types of Gonorrhea
1) Genital Gonorrhea
Genital gonorrhea is a condition which affects sexually active men and women in various age groups. Male genital gonorrhea consists of painful urination and penile discharge, which may be white, yellow or green. The tip of the penis become red and swollen, and one or both testicles may experience pain and frequent urination.
In case of a female, symptoms are similar to penile gonorrhea — a pus-like vaginal discharge is present, along with painful urination. There is also some slight bleeding between periods. In less common cases, pain during intercourse and develop abdominal pain.
2) Rectal Gonorrhea
Rectal gonorrhea is not an uncommon condition.
• Anal Sex
• Contiguous spreading of the bacteria from the vaginal area to the anal region
Symptoms of rectal gonorrhea are :
• Thick, purulent discharge in the anus
• Blood from the anus
Women who have vaginal gonorrhea can develop rectal gonorrhea because the bacteria can travel the short patch of skin that separates the vagina from the anus.
3) Eye Gonorrhea
It is a condition known as conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye)
. Common symptoms of gonorrhea include :
• Redness and swelling in the white of the eye
• Yellow discharge from the corner of the eye
• Swelling of the upper eyelid
• Mild eye pain
Bacterial gonorrhea is highly contagious and can spread easily to others via direct contact from the hands. If gonorrhea bacteria comes into contact with the eye (for example if it’s transferred from the genitals to the eye by the fingers) it can cause conjunctivitis. Newborn might get affected by this STI if the mother has vaginal gonorrhea during childbirth it is referred to as ophthalmia neonatorum
4) Pharyngeal Gonorrhea
It is also known as oral gonorrhea, pharyngeal gonorrhea causes
• A sore throat,
• Lymph nodes swelling.
• Pus discharge from the mouth.
The person who typically performs oral sex is generally at risk for this type of infection. Men who have sex with other men have the highest risk of developing this condition.
5) Disseminated Gonorrhea Infection
Disseminated gonorrhea infection (DGI) is a rare condition that occurs when gonococcal bacteria enter the bloodstream and infect the internal organs. The symptoms of DGI:
• Pain and swelling of joints.
• Skin lesions and rashes
If it is untreated, DGI can cause severe complications such as
Sign and Symptoms of Gonorrhea
Signs and symptoms can show up 1–14 days after coming into contact with this STI, many months later, or not until the infection spreads to other parts of your body.
In Females symptoms are:
• Vaginal discharge which may be thin or watery, yellow or green.
• Pain when passing urine.
• Pain lower abdomen or tenderness and pelvic pain.
• Swelling of the vulva.
• Rarely, bleeding between periods or heavier periods (including women who are using hormonal contraception).
In Male symptoms are:
• Discharge from the tip of the penis – the discharge may be white, yellow or green.
• Pain while passing urine.
• Rarely, pain or tenderness in the testicles.
Other parts of the body:
• Infection in the rectum doesn’t usually have any signs and symptoms but may cause anal pain, discomfort or discharge.
• Infection in the throat usually has no symptoms.
• Infection in the eyes (conjunctivitis) can cause pain, swelling, irritation, and discharge.
Investigation of Gonorrhea
1. Microscopy of a direct smear of the discharge stained with Gram stain reveals Gram-negative diplococci within polymorphonuclear leucocytes.
2. Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) can be used for quick identification of gonococcal urethritis with good sensitivity and specificity. These tests lack sensitivity and specificity when used for cervical, pharyngeal and rectal samples.
3. Nucleic acid detection method.
4. Complete blood tests.
Treatment of Gonorrhea
1) Oral or injectable antibiotics like ceftriaxone are one of the few effective antibiotics. This is typically given in combination with either azithromycin or doxycycline.
2) Always use condoms when having sex.
Complications of Gonorrhea
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
• Ectopic pregnancy.
• Inflammation (swelling) of the joints and tendons.
• Skin lesions (rash).
• Inflammation around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
Homoeopathic Treatment of Gonorrhea
Why not ask your query directly to Dr. Thind’s team? Get an expert opinion FOR FREE!