Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted diseases that affects both genders. This is actually the most frequent sexually transmitted disease. The symptoms of gonorrhea can vary from mild such as itchiness in the vaginal area, to severe, such as intensive pelvic pain. The infection is transmitted by unprotected sexual intercourse. Any type of sexual activity is a potential way of transmission of the infection. Gonorrhea can be additionally transmitted from a mother to her baby during vaginal delivery.
The infection is caused by a bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This infective agent inhabits moist and warm areas of the body such as the cervix, vagina, urinary tract, mouth and rectum. The infection requires proper treatment and if left untreated it may cause serious complications and infertility.
Gonorrhea in Women: Symptoms
Initially the symptoms of gonorrhea may be mild and non-specific, however, as the infection progresses the symptoms and signs become more prominent and quite bothersome. In many women the symptoms and signs of the infection develop 2-10 days after exposure to the bacterium. In rare occasions the symptoms develop after a month.
A woman suffering from gonorrhea typically complains about yellowish or white vaginal discharge (which is commonly of unpleasant smell), redness and swelling of the genitals, swelling of the glands at the vaginal opening and burning sensation or itchiness in the vaginal area. In severe cases urination can be accompanied by burning sensation or it may be frequent. In some women infection affects the anus and anal area with irritation and redness of the skin and discharge from the anus. Severe infection may cause abnormal bleeding from the vagina, inflammation of fallopian tubes and ovaries and consequent pelvic inflammation, severe pelvic cramping and abdominal pain, painful bowel movements, fever and fatigue. A woman may additionally complain about intensive pain during and after intercourse.
Gonorrhea in Women: Treatment
After investigating a woman's medical history, a gynecologist performs a pelvic exam, he then takes vaginal samples with swabs, and urine samples are taken as well. They are tested in a laboratory where the infection, if present, can be confirmed.
Gonorrhea used to be treated successfully with peniccillines. However, over time the bacterium has become resistant to certain antibiotics and it is, therefore, necessary to choose an antibiotic according to the antibiogram. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics are ceftriaxone, cefixime, Ciprofloxacin or ofloxavin.
The use of latex condoms each time you engage in a sexual intercourse can prevent the spread of, not only gonorrhea, but also many other even more serious and untreatable sexually transmitted diseases.