The World of Pregnancy

How Long Does It Take To Cure Gonorrhea?

Have you ever asked yourself how long does it take to cure gonorrhea? If you are about the have a baby, you can never be sure about your health or the one of your partner.

How Long Does It Take To Cure Gonorrhea

What Is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common STD, which causes the inflammation of the genital organs in both men and women.

Each year, there are a few million new cases of such infections. One of the main ways of transmitting the disease is unprotected sex.

What Is The Cause of Gonorrhea?

The pathogen of gonorrhea is gonococcal (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). This microbe is able of infecting the genital and urinary tract (on the mucous membranes).

The pathogen agents of gonorrhea have a pronounced ability of penetrating the human body`s tissues and destroy them. Additionally, these bacteria are resistant to some modern antibiotics.

Generally, gonorrhea occurs during sexual intercourse with a person who is a carrier of the infection. The infection is possible through vaginal, oral or anal sex.

The probability of infection of a man from a diseased woman is of almost 20%, in case of one single sexual contact and over 80% in case of 4 or more contacts.

The probability of infection of a woman from a man is of almost 70% on one single sexual contact.

The transmission of the infection by other means than sexual contact is possible by serious violations of personal hygiene, like the use of underwear or towels of an infected person.

Gonorrhea may lead to miscarriage, premature birth or infection of the child`s eyes, and is contacted as the baby passes the birth canal. Also, infected newborns with gonorrhea may show complications, like arthritis and sepsis.

Older children can be infected with gonorrhea in case of a rape.

In short:

  • It`s a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Anyone who is sexually active can be infected.
  • It can be transmitted by any kind of sexual contact with an infected person.
  • It`s more frequent in teenagers or young adults.
  • Most of the time, the infection doesn`t manifest.
  • You may transmit the infection to your partner without knowing about it.
  • The infection can be healed with proper treatment of antibiotics.
  • It may cause serious health problems if left untreated.

How Contagious Is Gonorrhea?

The bacteria which cause this infection area spread through the fluids of the body, like semen or vaginal fluid. These are passed from person to person during sexual intercourse. Besides this, any pregnant woman that is infected can pass gonorrhea to her baby during birth.

Can You Die If You Have Gonorrhea?

If this infection is left untreated, it may cause PID (also known as pelvic inflammatory disease), which is a painful disease that may lead to infertility or death. When men are concerned, the infection can be quite painful and may even lead to sterility. Gonorrhea can be spread to the blood as well as joints. – Also read Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Causes, Signs, Complications & Diagnosis!

Can Gonorrhea Cause Lower Back Pain?

When women are concerned, most of the times there won`t be any signs. However, if there are symptoms of abdominal pain or lower back pain experienced, this might mean that the infection has become more serious and turned into PID.

How Can You Tell If You Have Gonorrhea?

You may not experience any symptoms. However, if you do, they may appear in 1 to 30 days (most often, 4 to 8 days) from infection.

Symptoms in Men

  • Discomfort or pains in the penis during urination.
  • The occurrence of mucous secretions from the penis; in a few days, they become purulent, dirty yellowish-green in color and may contain fresh stripes of blood.
  • Swelling or pain in the scrotum might occur.

Symptoms in Women

  • Purulent vaginal discharges, yellowish-green in color, with a bad odor.
  • Light vaginal bleeding that isn`t related to menstruation.
  • Pains during intercourse.
  • Prolonged pains with a sensation of draw in the abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Difficulties in conceiving a child.

If you notice any of the symptoms, you should get in touch with your doctor, gynecologist, dermatologist or urologist (in case of men). A precise diagnosis and proper treatment are possible only after a medical investigation.

Don`t try to treat the infection by yourself – it may be very dangerous.

Can You Be Asymptomatic with Gonorrhea?

In some situations, gonorrhea doesn`t manifest by any symptom – asymptomatic or chronic gonorrhea – but even in such a case, the infection persists and the person is a carrier and may infect other people. – Click here!

Chronic gonorrhea, and other serious complications associated with it (infertility, joint diseases), is more common in women.

When You Need to Test for Gonorrhea?

If you are a woman, you should test for this infection if:

  • Experience any symptoms, like abnormal vaginal discharge, or pain sensation when urinating.
  • Your partner has gonorrhea or experiences obvious symptoms.
  • You have other STD, such as Chlamydia. – Also see How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Clear Up?

If you are a man, you should test for this infection if:

  • You experience pain or secretion in your penis.
  • You feel pain when urinating.
  • You have a sensation of itching or pain, or you experience a leak or bleeding from your rectum (if you experienced anal sex).
  • Your partner has gonorrhea or any obvious signs.
  • You have other STD, like Chlamydia.

Complications

In women, this infection can spread through the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity, which in turn it increases the risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy quite a lot.

In men, gonorrhea can cause prostatitis and narrow the urethra.

In around 2% of cases of gonorrhea, either if it starts from the genital organs, neck or rectum, the infection spreads in the entire organism.

The symptoms when the infection spreads in the entire body can be:

  • Pain and inflammation of large joints (knees, elbows).
  • Pain in the tendons.
  • The occurrence of unusual skin rashes.
  • Increase of body temperature up to 38 C.

In rare cases, gonorrhea may lead to the development of meningitis or endocarditis.

The main signs of meningitis with gonorrhea are:

  • Severe headache.
  • Severe vomiting.
  • Fever.

The main signs of endocarditis with gonorrhea are:

  • Prolonged fever.
  • Intense weakness.
  • Sweating.
  • Chest pain.
  • Rash on the body.

What Are The Long Term Effects of Gonorrhea?

Women who don`t treat this infection might experience these complications:

  • Infertility.
  • Tubo-ovarian abscess. – Read this!
  • Ectopic pregnancy.
  • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).
  • Inflammation of the Bartholin glands.
  • Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome (very rare).
  • Chronic pelvic pain.

How Long Does It Take To Cure Gonorrhea?

This infection is treated with antibiotics. The regular treatment involves Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin. The first drug is taken as an injection, while the second one as a tablet. You don`t need more than one dose from each medication. Over the counter variations are available for these antibiotics.

If you experience pain or other signs which don`t improve, you should return to your doctor and talk to him about it. You may need further treatment or at least investigate any other causes for the pain you experience.

If you had signs of this infection, you have to wait about a week before the symptoms clear up and be able to have sexual contacts again. Your partner will require treatment as well. If you have sex before one week, there may be a risk of spreading the disease to your partner as well.

How Do You Get Tested For Gonorrhea?

The disease can be diagnosed by describing the signs and taking a secretion from the surface of the infected areas, meaning the cervix, rectum, neck or urethra, or a sample of urine by the doctor.

The analysis of the first urine in the morning – for this test, the doctor may ask you to bring a sample of your urine. To increase the probability of a correct result of this analysis, it`s required to collect the first 10 – 15 ml of the first urine in the morning.

Bacterial smear from the urethra or vagina (in the case of men) – it allows to detect the pathogen agents of gonorrhea in the vaginal secretions or the ones of the urethra.

PCR analysis – it`s used in those situation in which, despite the existence of a serious suspicion of gonorrhea, the bacteriological smear didn`t reveal the presence of any pathogen agents (this especially possible mostly in cases of long-term disease).

Due to the fact that more than 60% of cases of gonorrhea are associated with other STDs, your doctor may recommend other tests as well.

Image courtesy of DrElist
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