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Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Top 3 Risk Factors for Acquiring an Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea. In women it usually affects the urethra and cervix, often both of them. However, the infection can be seen also in other parts like rectum, anus, throat and even pelvic organs. Rarely, the infection affects the eyes.

Gonorrhea is a disease that does not cause any problems if diagnosed and treated on time. However, if the infection is left untreated it can cause serious health problems. This kind of STD is more likely to cause serious problems in women than in men, due to mild signs and symptoms in the beginning and diagnosis of the disease in later stages, usually when the infection has spread to other parts of the body. The infection can spread from the urethra and cervix to other pelvic organs like the uterus, the fallopian tubes and even ovaries, leading to an inflammation and scar tissue of the pelvis, also known as the pelvic inflammatory disease.

The incubation period usually lasts couple of days (2-5 days). But, sometimes it may take up to 30 days for the signs and symptoms to start. A person infected with gonorrhea is contagious even if there are no signs and symptoms of the disease. The person infected with gonorrhea is contagious until it has been totally treated.

Having a gonorrhea infection once does not protect you from other possible reinfections in the future.

Risk factors for getting gonorrhea include:

–          Multiple sex partners in the last period

–          High – risk sexual partners

–          Having unprotected sexual intercourse.


Gonorrhea Symptoms and Signs

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea vary. In the beginning they are usually mild to moderate and often mistaken as a vaginal or bladder infection. The symptoms include:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after sex or between periods.
  • Anal itching, discomfort, bleeding, or discharge.
  • Genital itching.
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Lower abdominal pain.
  • Fever and general tiredness.
  • Swollen and painful glands at the opening of the vagina (Bartholin glands).
  • Painful sexual intercourse.
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis, etc.

When the infection spreads to other pelvic organs, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Lower abdominal pain,
  • Pain during sexual intercourse,
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fever, etc.


How Is Gonorrhea Diagnosed

Usually your doctor will ask you a lot of questions regarding your sexual life, the possibility of being exposed or having unprotected sexual intercourse, the number of sexual partners you have had lately, etc.

A total check – up is necessary in order to diagnose the infection correctly. Laboratory examination of blood and urine are routinely checked. Pelvic examination is necessary. Most tests give results within a few days.

If diagnosed with STD tell your partner as he/she should get tested as well.


How Is Gonorrhea Treated

When diagnosed with STD treatment is necessary not only for you but also for your sexual partner. Both of you will receive the same therapy no matter if your partner has no signs and symptoms. If your sexual partner does not get treated, you will be re-infected even though you might have treated the infection successfully. Treatment for gonorrhea includes antibiotics like Ceftriaxone, Gentamicin, Azithromycin, etc.

STD if diagnosed and treated on time does not cause any complications. However, if left untreated possible complications include:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Tubo-ovarian abscess
  • Bartholinitis – inflammation of the Bartholin glands
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Preterm labor
  • Higher risk of miscarriage
  • Premature membrane ruptures
  • Endometritis, etc.
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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.