Gonorrhoea, all you need to know about this disease

Man with Gonorrhoea having painful urination
Burning pain during urination caused by gonorrhoea

All you need to know about Gonorrhoea

Have you heard your mates or home-girls screaming while taking a piss in the John?it’s very likely they have a date with Gonorrhoea.

Gonorrhoea or clap, is an STD caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

It can cause infection in the throat, the penis, the rectum, the vagina and less commonly the eyes.

You  can get  the clap through practically all forms of contact sex between two people.

It is one of the oldest known STDs, there’s   whole lot of evidence  in the old testament and ancient Egyptian text.

Gonorrhoea is the second most common STD in the UK after Chlamydia accounting for about 55% of all the cases of STD in the UK.

How can you Contract Gonorrhoea ? 

Means of transmission of Gonorrhoea
Couple having sex

The germ responsible for gonorrhoea can get into your  system  through a variety of sex acts including

  • Vaginal sex

  • Anal sex

  • Oral sex

  • Sharing of unwashed sex toys

    Using sex toys after your mate or your girlfriend without washing or at least putting a condom over it isn’t a good idea.

  • Through the birth canal of infected mothers

    Babies born to infected mothers are susceptible to this form of transmission of the  infection. 

Men who have unprotected vaginal sex with infected women have a 20% chance of getting infected from a single act of sexual intercourse.

While women have a 60 to 80% chance of getting infected from a single act of unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected man.

Men who have sex with infected men may get anal or penile gonorrhoea depending on the roles they play during sex.


How do I know I have gonorrhoea

Symptoms of gonorrhoea
Symptoms of Gonorrhoea

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhoea

Most symptoms of gonorrhoea appear 6 to 10 days after infection by the bacteria.

Five out of ten women infected with gonorrhoea do not show any symptoms, the other half show a variety of symptoms that will be discussed here.

Men on the other hand almost always show the symptoms of gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea of the throat contracted through oral sex has no symptoms   in 90% of the cases, however, when it is symptomatic, the only symptom is a sore throat.

Common signs and symptoms of gonorrhoea include;

  • A white, yellow or green discharge from the penis.
  • Pain in the testicles, often accompanied by swelling of the testicles
  • Burning sensation when urinating, this symptom is common in both men and women and is, in fact, this is the most common symptom of gonorrhoea.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding outside the normal monthly period.
  • A sore throat.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Pain with sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal discharge which may be green or yellow in colour.
  • Bleeding in the vagina after sex.
  • Inflammation of the penile foreskin.
  • Conjunctivitis when infected semen or vaginal fluids come in contact with the eyes.
  • Discharge from the rectum.
  • Anal itching.
  • Soreness in the rectum.
  • Bleeding from the anus.
  • Painful bowel movement. 

It is possible for persons infected with gonorrhoea to have an allergic response to the bacterial agent of gonorrhoea this greatly exaggerates the symptoms of the infection and may even lead to complications and misdiagnosis .

If the infection is in an advanced  stage, the patient may generally feel  tired which may be  confused with other diseases.


Prevention, Treatment and control of gonorrhoea

The sheer fact that this STD has existed for so long implies that there are time tested and tried ways of preventing, controlling and treating it.

Prevention of gonorrhoea

A condom
Correct use of a condom

You can prevent   gonorrhoea  by following standard  preventive measures for STD’s, chiefly by the correct  use of condoms

However, the fact that it is transmitted through a lot of sex acts means that extra care should be taken to prevent its transmission.

You may prevent  the infection  by

  1. Being in a mutually monogamous sexual relationship with an uninfected person.
  2. Going for tests before restarting sexual activities if you’ve been infected before.
  3. Using a condom to cover the penis before oral sex
  4. Using a latex or plastic square dam to cover the female genitals before oral sex.
  5. Not sharing sex toys or washing them before they are used by any other person
  6. Covering shared sex toys with condoms before use.
  7. Going for tests before starting a sexual relationship with a new partner.

Treatment and control of gonorrhoea

Antibiotics for gonorrhoea
Antibiotics for gonorrhoea

You can  cure the  clap, albeit with the right treatment usually antibiotics which will be prescribed by your physician.

There is a particular strain of gonorrhoea which cannot be cured with any commercially available antibiotics.

The good news, however, is that this strain is very rare, so rare in fact that only a single case of it has been reported in the UK. Hopefully, a cure  will be made available soon.

It should be noted that having being cured of gonorrhoea previously doesn’t confer any form of immunity against it. 

The gonorrhoea germ will happily infect you again if you expose yourself to it.

It is in your  best interest to  go for  a retest after a treatment for the infection before restarting your sexual activities to protect your partners.

All your sexual partners within the period of diagnosis with the infection should be tested ,to preclude their chances of reinfecting you after you’ve been successfully treated.

Babies born to mothers with gonorrhoea  infection are usually treated with antibiotics at birth, this prevents blindness that may be caused by the infection  at infancy. 

Complications of a gonorrhoea infection

You should seek professional medical advice when you have symptoms you suspect to be of the clap, so as to start treatment early given that if you don’t  treat the infection, it could cause a number of health complications including

  • Infertility in women
  • Sterility in men
  • Blockage of  the fallopian tube
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Increased chances of getting or giving someone HIV
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature labour
  • In extremely rare cases, gonorrhoea can spread to the blood and cause serious infections in other parts of the body

The more times you have gonorrhoea, the more likely it is for you to have these complications.


Myths about gonorrhoea

  1. If I don’t show symptoms then I don’t have gonorrhoea

    This couldn’t be further from the truth, a lot of people with a gonorrhoea infection don’t show any symptoms.

    Go for  a test ,if any of your sexual partners find out that they have  the clap.

  2.  You have to engage in penetrative sex in order to contract gonorrhoeaThis is simply false. You can get the infection  from  almost all forms of intimate sexual acts including oral sex,It is advised that you protect yourself properly with condoms or latex dams before being engaged in oral sex with an untested sexual partner.

  3. Only people who have a lot of sexual partners can get gonorrhoea

    As much as this sounds reasonable to a lot of persons, it’s just not how gonorrhoea works.

    Gonorrhoea is gotten from sexual intercourse with infected parties no matter how many times you’ve had sex. It can even be contracted from sharing sex toys with infected persons.

  4. Oral contraception can prevent gonorrhoea

    This is so wrong it’s almost comical, oral contraceptives prevent only pregnancy. In fact, condoms are the only contraceptives that can prevent STDs.

  5. Once you have had gonorrhoea you can’t get it again

    We all wish that gonorrhoea behaves this way sadly, it isn’t true. You contract gonorrhoea when you have unprotected sex with an infected person, no matter how many times you’ve been treated for gonorrhoea.

    Sometimes, you can get gonorrhoea even a day after being treated for gonorrhoea. It’s advised that you protect yourself from gonorrhoea at all times by using appropriate protection.

 

Gonorrhoea is more common than you think,  screening and treatment are free through the NHS at Genitourinary medicine or Sexual health clinics in the UK.

Always consult your physician if you suspect gonorrhoea.

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