The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea, an STI or sexually transmitted infection that is commonly called ‘the clap’. In both sexes, gonorrhea can infect the throat, cervix, throat, urethra, anus, and rectum during sexual intercourse. In women, gonorrhea can give serious health complications such as ectopic pregnancy and PID or pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause infertility if left undiagnosed and untreated.
After a period between 1-14 days, symptoms may start to show when a person has been infected with gonorrhea. However, most people will not show symptoms particularly women who may blame it to another medical condition such as a urinary tract infection. It is the men who usually become aware of the infection as it is more noticeable in their case.
- Anal discharges and irritation
- Pain during urination
- Abundant, fishy-smelling, and green or yellow colored vaginal discharges
- Painful urination
- Anal irritation with discharges
- Yellow or white discharges from the penis
Penetrative sex can pass gonorrhea which includes:
- Oral sex. It can be transmitted through the infected throat to genitals or infected genitals to the throat.
- vaginal penetration
- anal penetration
It can also be passed through:
- Using fingers to touch an infected person’s mouth, vagina or anus and, without washing the hands, use the fingers to touch their own anus, vagina or mouth.
- Sucking or licking an infected person’s anus or an infected tongue and mouth to lick and suck the anal area.
Diagnosis and treatment
Testing for gonorrhea may take the traditional method of culturing the bacteria taken from samples from the anus, mouth, urethra or vagina. Some of these tests could take a week to confirm the results, but modern scientific technology has created quicker tests that are also reliable. This could be through a DNA testing where only a urine sample is needed from the infected person to confirm a diagnosis for gonorrhea.
As soon as the results show positive proof for gonorrhea, the medical professional will give the infected person medication that is suitable for his or her case. The usual medication would be antibiotics either in liquid, pill or injectable form. There may only be a single large dose of injectable antibiotics that can be either injected intramuscularly or through IV therapy. The treatment may also take a single injection followed by pills that have to be taken orally for 7 days. The best way is to stick with the medication program to cure the infection although the damage done by the disease is irreversible.
Should an infected person have an allergy history to some of the prescribed antibiotics, the healthcare provider should be informed right away so other medications can be prescribed. If you are also pregnant when you acquired the disease, the doctor has to be informed as well. This is to make changes to the medication that will prevent and protect the unborn baby from getting the infection.
The consultation with the doctor will also raise some questions regarding your current sexual partner(s) or sexual activity for the past 6 months. This is also to ensure that all your sex partner(s) be tested and treated as well.