Mediclinic Al Sufouh

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Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea

Table of Contents

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by bacteria (Neisseria gonorrheae). It used to be known as “the clap”. Sexually active people can get it through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The most frequent symptoms in men are painful urination and penile discharge. A urine or swab test is useful to diagnose this STD. Antibiotic treatment is the only way to cure. To underestimate or leave gonorrhoea untreated may lead to chronic complications. This infection does not develop a specific immunity so that when further exposed, people can catch it again.

Mechanism of infection

It is hard that the bacteria to survive outside the human body for long. For this reason, the infection is possible only during direct and intimate contact. People can be infected while having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhoea. Since this STD is so common, especially in young people, the probability of getting infected during casual sex is high. Gonorrhoea can also spread from a pregnant infected woman to her baby during childbirth. The infection is not possible when only kissing, hugging, or using swimming pools, toilet seats, sharing baths, towels, cups, plates, or cutlery.

Symptoms

Some men with gonorrhoea might be non-symptomatic and can spread the infection to their sexual partners. However, common symptoms in men could be:

Gonorrhoea test

The urethral swab is the test to diagnose gonorrhea. However, it is essential to get tested as soon as possible because it can lead to more serious long-term health problems if it is not treated, including infertility.

Treatment

A single injection and a single tablet of antibiotics are enough to improve symptoms within a few days.

The urologist recommends a follow-up appointment after treatment, so he can carry out another diagnostic test to see if the treatment effect did eradicate the infection.

The patient should avoid any sexual activity until the infection has cleared.

Prevention

The prevention of this infection and other STIs can be successful when using protective barriers like condoms. In general, people must avoid any direct contact with genital mucosae. Since we expect the asymptomatic infection in the healthy, sexually active population, casual unprotected sex is definitely unsafe. When considering changing partners, the new stable couple should get checked for gonorrhoea and other STDs.

Who should get tested?

We recommend getting tested if:

  • symptoms;
  • unprotected sex with a new partner;
  • the partner has had unprotected sex with other people;
  • other STD;
  • the sexual partner has got an STD;
  • female partner planning to be pregnant.

When to see a doctor?

It is highly recommended to have a urology consultation when there are symptoms or in case of any suspicion of being infected. Leaving gonorrhoea untreated is dangerous and the risk of severe complications is high.

External resources

More interesting content at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.