What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a venereal disease which results from the infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The disease is extremely contagious and tends to develop quite rapidly in the favorable environment of the reproductive organs. Infections with Gonorrhea are rather frequent, especially among young adults, women presenting a higher risk of contacting the bacterium.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea
Symptoms of Gonorrhea vary depending on the gender of the infected patient. However, both in men and in women, if symptoms do appear, they can usually be noticed only after a period of incubation of the virus, which may last for about a month.
In most infected men, urination is accompanied by discomfort. If they suffer of Gonorrhea, men may also notice abnormal penile discharges or swelling of the testicles. These symptoms, however, are not characteristic only of Gonorrhea and can be associated with various other STDs.
Likewise, a few women infected with Gonorrhea can experience discomfort while urinating and experience abnormal discharges or bleeding from the vagina. However, such cases are rather rare and can be linked to other kinds of infections. In fact, the majority of infections with Gonorrhea do not cause any kind of visible symptoms in the female patients.
How is Gonorrhea Transmitted?
Gonorrhea is transmitted by means of sexual contact between two partners. Many couples believe that condoms are only meant to prevent pregnancies and that there is no need for them to be used if the man has no intention of ejaculating at the end of the sexual contact. But the truth is that condoms should be used in order to prevent the infection with STDs as well. Infection with Gonorrhea is not conditioned by the exchange of fluids between the two partners and can be transmitted even through an incomplete sexual encounter.
Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea
If you experience one or more symptoms of Gonorrhea, and even if you do not experience any symptoms but know that you have had unprotected sex in the last month, you should get tested by a specialist. Seeing a doctor is extremely important because not treating the disease or mistaking it for something less serious can lead to future problems, such as impotence and infertility.
Because various STDs can manifest themselves through similar symptoms, you have to be very specific when telling your doctor what exactly you are feeling. In order to confirm the diagnosis of Gonorrhea, the doctor will first examine your genital area carefully. He may ask you to bring a urine sample, or he may collect a sample of the discharge from your genital area, which will be sent to the laboratory and carefully analyzed in order to detect any signs of the presence of the bacterium. Sometimes, the doctor wants to analyze both the consistency of urine and the one of the discharge, in order to assure the accuracy and precision of the diagnosis.
Cures and Treatment for Gonorrhea
If the tests prove positive, you will need to follow a treatment in order to cure the disease. The treatment prescribed will usually be based upon antibiotics, which can be administrated either through oral medications or through injections, depending on the severity of the condition. The treatment will also vary depending on the age and condition of the patient. For example, even though medications based upon Ciprofloxacin are known to be extremely efficient in fighting the disease, this substance is not recommended for pregnant women or for minors. After the treatment is completed, you will need to repeat the tests in order to make sure that the infection has been completely eliminated.
Remember that the best treatment is prevention and that you must always use protection in order to lead a healthy sexual life.