Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a curable, bacterial, sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium
called Neisseria gonorrhoeae (a member of the family Neisseriaceae). Bacteria are introduced
during sexual contact. These bacteria can infect the genital tract, the mouth, and the rectum.  It
attacks the urethra in males, the cervix in females, and the throat.  The majority of the organisms
belonging to this family are non-pathogenic or commensals, however, gonorrhea is always
pathogenic.

Gonorrheas mode of transmission is during sexual intercourse  vaginal, oral, and anal.
People who practice anal intercourse can get gonorrhea of the rectum. Even women who do not
engage in anal intercourse can get gonorrhea of the rectum if the bacteria are spread from the
vaginal area.

Because symptoms are not always present, you may be infected with gonorrhea and not
know it. If present, symptoms appear within 2 to 14 days. Fifty percent of people with gonorrhea
may show no symptoms. Men are more likely than women to show signs of infection. Gonorrhea in
Men can cause painful urination, creamy or green pus-like penile discharge, and testicular pain.
Gonorrhea in Women can cause vaginal discharge that are bloody or yellow, painful urination,
bleeding between periods, excessive bleeding during menstrual period, painful intercourse, and
lower abdominal pain.  Symptoms of rectal infection include discharge, anal itching, and occasional
painful bowel movements with fresh blood on the feces.

When treated early, there are no long-term consequences of gonorrhea. Doctors usually
prescribe a combination of antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone and doxycycline or azithromycin, which
will treat both diseases. Serious complications can result, however, when left untreated. In
untreated gonorrhea infections, the bacteria can spread up into the reproductive tract, or more
rarely, can spread through the blood stream and infect the joints, heart valves, or the brain.  The
most common result of untreated gonorrhea is PID, a serious infection of the female reproductive
organs. Gonococcal PID often appears immediately after the menstrual period.

PID causes scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes. If the tube is only partially scarred, the fertilized egg cannot
pass into the uterus. If this happens, the embryo may implant in the tube causing a tubal
pregnancy. This serious complication results in a miscarriage and can cause death of the mother.
Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can spread through the blood to the joints.
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotic drugs taken orally or by an injection. All partners
must be treated. Treatment during the early stages is usually 100 percent effective. It is important
that all of the antibiotics are taken as prescribed, and that the infected people refrain from sexual
intercourse during treatment. Proper hand washing is essential. The bacteria can be transferred to
the eyes.

You can prevent gonorrhea by using latex condoms correctly and consistently during
vaginal or rectal sexual intercourse.  This will help reduce gonorrhea and its complications.       Words
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