General Illness Information
Common Name: None Specified
Description: Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infectious disease of the reproductive organs, caused by the bacterium Niesseria gonorrhea.
It usually infects urethra in males and in females urethra, vagina, cervix and/or fallopian tubes. It may also involve anus, throat, joints and eyes. It is spread by sexual contact. It may spread through the blood stream to other parts of the body, especially to the skin and joints. In women, it may ascend the genital tract to infect the pelvis , causing pelvic pain and reproductive problems.
Incubation period is 2 to 10 days.
Causes: Infection from gonococcus bacteria.
- Avoid sexual partners whose health practices and status are uncertain.
- Use a latex condom during sexual intercourse. It is important to note that condoms offer partial protection.
- Sexual contacts should be treated.
This condition must be reported to the local health department to prevent its spread. It sometimes occurs simultaneously with other sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. Your cooperation is important, and your confidentiality will be maintained.
Signs & Symptoms
Females often have few or no symptoms. Males usually have more pronounced symptoms. In men the first symptoms usually appear 2 to 7 days after the infection.
In men – it starts with mild discomfort in the urethra, followed, few hours later, by mild to severe pain on urination and discharge of pus from the penis. It is also accompanied by increased urge to urinate and gets worse as the disease spreads to the upper part of the urethra. The penile opening may get red and swollen.
In women, the first symptoms may appear 7 to 21 days after the infection. Often infected women have no symptoms for weeks or months, and infection is discovered only after the woman’s male partner is diagnosed and she is tested as a contact. If symptoms occur ,they are usually mild. Some may have severe symptoms and are as follows:
- Thick green-yellow discharge from the vagina.
- Little or no fever.
- Pain or tenderness with sexual intercourse (sometimes).
- Rectal discomfort and discharge (sometimes). Occurs in women and homosexuals who engage in anal sex.
- Joint pain.
- Rash, especially on palms.
- Mild sore throat (sometimes). Occurs in people who engage in oral sex with an infected partner.
- Many sexual partners, whether homosexual or heterosexual.
- Child sexual abuse.
- Infant who passes through the infected birth canal of the mother.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnostic tests may include laboratory cultures and microscopic analysis of the discharge from the reproductive organs, rectum or throat.
- Treatment is with antibiotic medication (penicillin resistance is an problem). Follow-up cultures will confirm cure.
- Patient should be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV.
- Use separate linens and disposable eating utensils during treatment.
- Wash hands frequently especially after urination and bowel movements.
- Don’t touch eyes with hands.
- Inform all sexual contact so they can seek treatment.
- Abstain from sexual activity until after full treatment , plus testing and treatment of partner (s).
- Antibiotics to fight the infection. For uncomplicated gonorrhea infection, initial single dose of one of the following antibiotics is given: ceftriaxone 125mg IM or cefixime 400mg or ofloxacin 400mg or ciprofloxacin 500mg orally, plus an antibiotic that is effective against chlamydia such as doxycycline 100mg twice daily or azithromycin 1 gm as a single dose.
- You may take non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen or aspirin, to reduce discomfort but not in place of antibiotics. Home remedies or folk-medicine treatments are ineffective, and not advisable.
No restrictions, except don’t resume sexual activity until a follow-up culture shows the infection is cured. Treatment failures and resistance to antibiotics occur
No special diet.
Possible Complications :
- Gonococcal eye infection. This may cause blindness in children.
- Blood poisoning (gonococcal septicemia).
- Infectious arthritis.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Sexual impotence in men, if untreated (sometimes).
- Infertility in women.
Usually curable in 1 to 2 weeks with treatment.