Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Gonorrhea, also known as the 'Clap', is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Gram-negative bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhea.
It grows well in the warm and moist reproductive tracts of both males and females.
In females, the commonest sites of infection are the cervix, the urethra, the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
It can also grow in other warm and moist areas of the body like the mouth and the anus.
Spread of Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea spreads by exchange of semen or vaginal fluids during sexual contact, in both homosexuals and heterosexuals, either vaginally or through anal or oral intercourse. Sometimes infection can also occur by use of an infected object like a vibrator if the vibrator is re-used while still moist.
Ejaculation does not have to occur for the infection to occur - simple penetration of the penis into the vagina is adequate for the bacteria to pass from one of the couple to the other.
It does not spread by simple kissing, sharing baths, towels, cups, or from toilet seats.
The symptoms of the infection show up 2 - 14 days after the sexual act.
Signs and Symptoms
Diagnosis of Gonorrhoea
Treatment of Gonorrhea
The patient should be called back for check-up after 3 and 6 months and the tests repeated, if doubts of persistence of the infection arises. She should be advised against unprotected sexual intercourse until completely cured.
Long-term Effects of Gonorrhoea
If left untreated, the infection can spread inside the pelvis causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It can affect the fallopian tubes causing blockage and future infertility. Chances of ectopic pregnancy are also more. Septic abortion and chorioamnionitis during pregnancy can also occur.
In males, the infection causes damage to the epididymis in the scrotum and may cause oligospermia (low sperm count) or aspermia (no sperm in the semen). Prostatitis, urethritis with urethral stricture and epididymitis are also common effects of gonococcal infection.
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