Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gonorrhea (NSFW)

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors


Oral Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Anyone who has any type of sex can catch gonorrhea. The infection can be spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.

The bacteria grow in warm, moist areas of the body, including the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra). In women, the bacteria may be found in the reproductive tract (which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix). The bacteria can even grow in the eyes.

Health care providers in every state in the U.S. are required by law to tell their State Board of Health about anyone diagnosed with gonorrhea. The goal of this law is make sure the patient gets proper follow-up care and that their sexual partners are found and tested.

  • You are more likely to develop this infection if you:
  • Have multiple sexual partners
  • Have a partner with a past history of any sexually transmitted infection
  • Do not use a condom during sex
  • Abuse alcohol or illegal substances


Symptoms

Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear 2 - 5 days after infection, however, in men, symptoms may take up to a month to appear. Some people do not have symptoms. They may be completely unaware that they have caught the infection, and therefore do not seek treatment. This increases the risk of complications and the chances of passing the infection on to another person.

Symptoms in men include:

  • Burning and pain while urinating
  • Increased urinary frequency or urgency
  • Discharge from the penis (white, yellow, or green in color)
  • Red or swollen opening of penis (urethra)
  • Tender or swollen testicles
  • Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)

Symptoms in women can be very mild or nonspecific, and may be mistaken for another type of infection. They include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning and pain while urinating
  • Increased urination
  • Sore throat
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Severe pain in lower abdomen (if the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes and stomach area)
  • Fever (if the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes and stomach area)

If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, fever, rash, and arthritis-like symptoms may occur.

Signs and tests

Gonorrhea can be quickly identified by staining a sample of tissue or discharge and then looking at it under a microscope. This is called a gram stain. Although this method is fast, it is not the most certain.

Gram stain tests used to diagnose gonorrhea include:

  1. Cervical gram stain in women
  2. Gram stain of urethral discharge in men
  3. Joint fluid gram stain

Cultures (cells that grow in a lab dish) provide absolute proof of infection. Generally, samples for a culture are taken from the cervix, vagina, urethra, anus, or throat. Cultures can provide a preliminary diagnosis often within 24 hours and a confirmed diagnosis within 72 hours.

Cultures used to diagnose gonorrhea include:

  • Endocervical culture in women
  • Urethral discharge culture in men
  • Throat swab culture in both men and women
  • Rectal culture in both men and women
  • Culture of joint fluid
  • Blood cultures


DNA tests are especially useful as a screening test. They included the ligase chain reaction (LCR) test. DNA tests are quicker than cultures. Such tests can be performed on urine samples, which are a lot easier to collect than samples from the genital area.

If you have gonorrhea, you should ask to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. If you are 21 or older, you should be sure you have had a recent pap smear.

Treatment

There are two goals in treating a sexually transmitted disease, especially one as easily spread as gonorrhea. The first is to cure the infection in the patient. The second is to locate and test all of the other people the person had sexual contact with and treat them to prevent further spread of the disease.

Never treat yourself without being seen by your doctor first. Your health care provider will determine the best and most up-to-date treatment.

About half of the women with gonorrhea are also infected with chlamydia, another very common sexually transmitted infection. Chlamydia is treated at the same time as a gonorrhea infection.

You should receive the hepatitis B vaccine. If you are younger than 26, you also need the HPV vaccine.

A follow-up visit 7 days after treatment is important if joint pain, skin rash, or more severe pelvic or belly pain is present. Tests will be done to make sure the infection is gone.

All sexual contacts of the person with gonorrhea should be contacted and tested. This helps prevent further spread of the disease. In some places you may be able to take counseling information and medicines to your sexual partner yourself. In other places, the health department will contact your partner.

Complications

Complications in women may include:

  • Salpingitis (scarring of the fallopian tubes), which can lead to problems getting pregnant or ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility (inability to become pregnant)
  • Pregnant women with severe gonorrhea may pass the disease to their baby while in the womb or during delivery

Complications in men may include:

  • Scarring or narrowing of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body (See: Urethral stricture)
  • Abscess (collection of pus around the urethra)
  • Complications in both men and women may include:
  • Joint infections
  • Heart valve infection
  • Meningitis








Via PubMed Health
(All The Images, Trademarks, Logo’s Shown on this Post are the property of their respective owners)

Follow by Email

Video For Health

Loading...