Gonorrhea is a classic sexually transmitted disease (venereal disease). The causative agent is gonococcus (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).
Pic 1 Gonococcus – Neisseria gonorrhoeae, photo. © Illustration provided by permission of the publisher BINOM.
This disease may damage the urethra (urethra), rectum, pharynx, cervix and eyes.
In most cases, gonorrhea infection occurs during sexual intercourse in the vagina and rectum. Possible infection with oral sex.
When passing through the birth canal, infection of a newborn with the development of gonococcal conjunctivitis is possible.
Domestic infection is unlikely. This is due to the fact that (1) gonococcus dies quickly outside the human body; (2) for infection, it is necessary that a sufficient amount of gonococci is ingested. Domestic way of infection can not provide hit the required number of gonokokkov. Therefore, the cause of infection can not be toilet seats, swimming pools, baths, general dishes and towels.
The probability of infection in a single sexual contact without a condom with a patient with gonorrhea
The probability of infection during unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, anal) with a patient with gonorrhea is about 50%.
With oral sex, the probability of infection is lower. Given the prevalence of asymptomatic gonococcal pharyngitis among prostitutes, unprotected oral sex with a prostitute cannot be considered safe.
The incubation period of gonorrhea
The incubation period for gonorrhea in men is usually from 2 to 5 days; for women – from 5 to 10 days.
Symptoms of gonorrhea
Symptoms of gonorrhea in men:
– yellowish-white discharge from the urethra
– pain when urinating
Pic 2 Gonorrhea, photo. © Illustration provided by permission of the publisher BINOM.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in women:
– yellowish white vaginal discharge
– pain when urinating
– lower abdominal pain
Gonococcal pharyngitis (defeat of the pharynx) is often asymptomatic. Sometimes it manifests a sore throat.
Gonococcal proctitis (defeat of the rectum) is usually asymptomatic. Possible pain in the rectum, itching and discharge from the rectum.
Gonococcal pharyngitis and gonococcal proctitis are found in both men (mostly homosexual and bisexual) and in women.
Features of gonorrhea in women
In women, gonorrhea is often asymptomatic. Even if the symptoms have occurred, they are not always correctly regarded. For example, women usually associate yellowish-white vaginal discharge with candidiasis (thrush); pain when urinating – with cystitis.
Complications of gonorrhea
In men, the most common complication is inflammation of the epididymis – epididymitis.
In women, the most frequent complication of gonorrhea is inflammatory diseases of the uterus and appendages, which are one of the main causes of female infertility. At the same time, the intrauterine device and menstruation increase the risk of inflammatory diseases of the uterus and appendages.
When spreading gonococci to other organs, a disseminated gonococcal infection occurs. This affects the joints, skin, brain, heart and liver.
When gonokokkov gets into the eyes, gonococcal conjunctivitis occurs.
Diagnosis of gonorrhea
For the diagnosis of gonorrhea, the presence of symptoms alone is not enough. Confirmation of the diagnosis by laboratory methods is required.
Diagnosis of acute gonorrhea in men is usually based on the results of a general smear. In chronic gonorrhea in men, as well as in any form of the disease in women, more accurate methods of research are needed – PCR or culture.
Given that in 30% of cases, gonorrhea is combined with a chlamydial infection, treatment of gonorrhea should include: (1) a drug that is active against gonococci; (2) a drug active against chlamydia.
Drugs active against gonococci:
– cefixime, 400 mg orally once or – ciprofloxacin, 500 mg orally once or – Ofloxacin, 400 mg orally once
Commercial names of cefixime: Supraks, Cefspan
Commercial names Ciproflox , Cyteral, Digran
Commercial names of ofloxacin: Vero-ofloksatsin, Zanotsin, Oflo, Ofloksin, Oflotsid, Tarivid, Tariferid, Taritsin, Floksal
– azithromycin, 1 g orally once or – doxycycline, 100 mg 2 times a day for 7 days
Commercial names of azithromycin: Azivok, Azitral, Azitroks, Zitrolid, Sumizid, Sumamed, Hemomitsin
Doxycycline Commercial Names: Apo-Doxy, Vibramicin, Doksal, Doxycycline Hydrochloride, Doxycycline Nycomed, Doxycycline-Rivo, Medomycin, Unidox Soluteb
The treatment regimens for acute uncomplicated gonorrhea are presented. In chronic gonorrhea (especially complicated), antibiotic therapy is longer, often combined (several antibiotics are used). In addition, additional treatment is prescribed (immunotherapy, instillation of the urethra, physiotherapy, etc.).
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-treatment.
Prevention of gonorrhea
On ways to reduce the risk of infection, can be found in the section How to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.
For prophylactic treatment for several days after exposure, see the Prevention after Accidental Links section.
If you are cured, and your sexual partner is not, you can easily become infected again.
It is very important to inform your sexual partners about the disease, even if nothing bothers them, and convince them to undergo examination and treatment. Indeed, an asymptomatic course does not reduce the risk of complications.