- WHAT IS GONORRHOEA?
- It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
- HOW IS GONORRHOEA TRANSMITTED?
- Sexual intercourse with an infected person (vaginal, anal or oral sex)
- Mother-to-child (during normal child birth)
- Casual social contact and toilet seats are not recognised modes of transmission
- INCUBATION PERIOD
- Symptoms appear 2 to 7 days after infection
- WHAT ARE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS?
- As with other sexually transmitted infections, there may be different presentations. An infected person may have no complaints or present with the following symptoms:
- Urethral discharge: white or yellow (urethra = urinary canal)
- Burning pain or irritation when urinating (dysuria)
- Vaginal discharge: yellowish or greenish (vagina = birth canal)
- Males And Females:
Gonorrhoea of the throat and rectum may not cause any symptoms, or may cause a sore throat and rectal discharge.
- Conjuctivitis (infection of the eyes) may lead to blindness
- WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS?
- Spread of infection to the testis, seminal vesicles and prostate may lead to acute or chronic infection of these organs
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Males And Females:
- Generalised spread of infection may involve the joints, skin and heart
- HOW IS GONORRHOEA DIAGNOSED?
- Smear test and culture from secretions of the infected parts (urethra, throat, rectum and cervix)
- Urine tests
- Blood tests do not help in diagnosis
- WHAT IS RESISTANT GONORRHOEA?
- It is an infection caused by strains of bacteria which are able to resist conventional doses of antibiotics
- Some strains produce an enzyme called penicillinase that is capable of completely neutralising penicillin
- CAN GONORRHOEA BE CURED?
- Yes, if it is detected and treated in the early stages with appropriate antibiotics
- WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- Seek treatment immediately from your doctor who will administer the appropriate antibiotics
- Refrain from sexual intercourse until your doctor has confirmed that you are cured
- Do not self medicate as this will suppress the signs of infection and lead to complications due to incomplete treatment
- Inform your doctor of any drug allergy
- Ensure that your sexual partner(s) come for a check-up so that he/she can be treated early if found to be infected
- Repeated infections can occur as there is no permanent immunity
- WHAT IS SAFER SEX?
- This is sex without the exchange of body fluids, e.g. vaginal secretions or semen, during sex
- Use condoms correctly and every time you have sex
- Do not consume alcohol before or during sex, this may impair your judgement