Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, from the gonococcal family. The chances of a woman transmitting the infection to her male partner are 20%, while if it is the man who has the infection the chances increase up to 70%. The latter is also valid for homosexual couples, especially if they are men; in fact, in the latter case, gonorrhea is especially frequent.
Symptoms of gonorrhea
In general terms, promiscuity, or in other words, risky sexual practices without the protection of a condom, constitutes the main risk factor for contracting gonorrhea.
The first symptoms of gonorrhea appear within two weeks from the moment it is infected and is specified in different clinical pictures:
- Men: the most frequent is that the infection is revealed with the appearance before ten days of urethritis, that is, an inflammation of the urethra that manifests itself with pain or itching when urinating and the emission of a purulent discharge. If left untreated, it can become complicated and cause inflammation of the penis or epididymis.
- Women: it may take longer to be detected since the first symptoms occur in the cervix, with the development of cervicitis. Other symptoms are an abnormal increase in vaginal discharge that takes on a purulent appearance, itching and burning when urinating, pelvic pain, and discharge of pus from the urethra. If left untreated, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and, consequently, the infertility of the woman.
- Pregnant women: the symptoms are the same as in the previous case, but with the risk of spontaneous abortion or premature delivery, depending on the moment of gestation at which it is acquired, or that the infection can be transmitted to the fetus during childbirth.
Another aspect to consider is that depending on the type of sexual practices performed, the gonococcal infection can appear in locations other than the genitourinary system: in the pharynx with anal sex and in the rectum with anal intercourse. In the first case, it manifests with the symptoms of pharyngitis and in the second with itching, pain, and suppuration in the rectum.
In very few cases, just 3%, gonorrhea can spread to other parts of the body, presenting additional symptoms: fever, skin lesions, and inflammation of the joints. It can also get complicated and cause the appearance of pathologies such as hepatitis or meningitis, warns sexologist in Delhi.
Treatment of gonorrhea
Treatment of gonorrhea is always with antibiotics, in this case, those of the cephalosporin family are the most effective. The dosage may vary depending on the location of the infection, but when it comes to the genitourinary system, a single dose is used, either orally or intramuscularly.