Gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted disease affecting both men as well as women. This infection is caused by gram negative bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea. In males usually urethra is infected while in females, cervix as well as urethra both gets infected after a sexual act. The disease can also infect throat and anus through oral or anal sex.
Symptoms develop between 3 to 5 days after the exposure. In males the common symptom is burning urination and yellow pus like discharge from penis. Females often remain asymptomatic, however when symptoms are present they may be experienced as burning urination, greenish or yellowish discharge from vagina, pain and bleeding during sex, swelling and redness of genitals etc.
Gonorrhea if treated in its early stage does not pose any risk; however, if left untreated it may cause many complications such as infertility in females and swelling in testis in men. Antibiotics are the mainstay treatment of gonorrhea. Dietary changes and use of home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, yogurt is useful as adjuvant therapy.
Gonorrhea Symptoms In Males And Females
Many patients suffering from gonorrhea are asymptomatic, especially females. They act as carriers of the disease. They suffer more from complications of the disease because of the non specific nature of the initial infection. However, when symptoms are present they occur between 1 to 5 days after sex with an infected person.
Symptoms in males:
- Acute pain and burning sensation while passing urine.
- Pain and burning in penis.
- Yellow discharge from penis.
- Pain and swelling of testes.
- Yellow discharge from anus and pain in anus in case of anal sex.
- Pain in throat and swollen glands in throat after oral sex.
Symptoms in females:
The cervix in most women is the primary site of infection. Infection of urethra is much less frequent. Often other infections such as Candida or Trichomonas vaginitis co-exist with gonorrhea in females. Many women have no symptoms and they act as carriers.
However, when symptoms are present they occur within 5 days after sexual intercourse with an infected partner. They are as follows:
- Greenish or yellow pus like discharge from vagina.
- Burning pain while urinating.
- Pain in lower abdomen.
- Bleeding between periods.
- Few spots of blood after intercourse.
- Swelling of vagina and vulva.
- Painful bump near vulva.
- Back pain.
- Pain and discharge from anus after anal sex.
- Pain, redness and swelling in throat after oral sex with an infected partner.
If left untreated the infection can spread upwards in the genitourinary tract leading to pelvic inflammatory disease. The symptoms manifested are as follows:
- Cramps in pelvis and lower abdomen.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- If the disease spreads to fallopian tube it may cause inflammation of the tube (salpingitis).
- If infection is severe it can cause tubo ovarian abscess.
- Infertility due to damage to fallopian tube.
What Are The Main Causes Of Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhea bacterium. It is gram negative bacteria. The disease is passed on from one person to another through sexual contact. Males as well as females who are sexually active can be afflicted with this infection. The bacteria are found in semen of an infected male or in vaginal fluid of an infected female.
The common age group which is most likely to be affected is 15 to 30 years; however, elderly individuals are also at risk. Spread can occur through unprotected genital, anal and oral sex in males and females. Sharing sex toys without taking proper cleaning precautions or without covering with condom can also be a cause of gonorrhea. Individuals or groups practicing high risk behavior such as truck drivers, commercial sex workers and their clients are infected more frequently.
A person cannot be infected with gonorrhea from hugging, sharing towels or clothes, or sitting on a toilet seat or sharing eating utensils.
Treatment Options For Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea if left untreated can cause serious complications that may range from swelling of testes, spermatic cord and prostate in males. In females it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, ectopic pregnancy etc. Few untreated patients may develop gonococcal arthritis.
Once diagnosed, antibiotics are the mainstay treatment for curing gonorrhea. Patient can be completely cured if treated soon after detection of disease in its primary stage. Patient has to take the medicine as prescribed by the physician. He or she should refrain from sexual intercourse during the treatment period. The partner should also take the treatment to prevent to and fro spread of the disease.
Certain home remedies are found effective in alleviating symptoms of gonorrhea. However they have to be used as a complimentary to the conventional antibiotic treatment.
- Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for alleviating symptoms of gonorrhea in females. Soak a tampon with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Place the tampon in vagina and remove the tampon after some time. The absorbed mixture will help to reduce inflammation and infection in the vagina.
- Yogurt contains healthy bacteria which help to kill bad bacteria. Eat yogurt daily. You can also apply small amount of yogurt in vagina. It helps to relieve itching and pain caused due to gonorrhea in females.
- Drinking coconut water alleviates burning urine in males and females suffering from gonorrhea.