Gonorrhoea

What is Gonorrhoea?
How does one get Gonorrhoea?
What are the signs and symptoms of Gonorrhoea?
How is Gonorrhoea diagnosed?
How is Gonorrhoea treated?
Is there any aftercare required following Gonorrhoea treatment?
How is Gonorrhoea prevented?

What is Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a common STD, though less commonly seen in Ireland and UK sexual health clinics than chlamydia.

By the end of September2011, there had been 560 cases reported in Ireland for that year alone. It is most common in young adults.

How does one get Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex.

It can also be passed from mother to baby before during or shortly after birth.

What are the signs and symptoms of Gonorrhoea?

In women the symptoms of gonorrhoea are often mild but most women infected have no symptoms. Symptoms may include pain or burning when urinating, which may be mistaken for a bladder infection, increased vaginal discharge or bleeding between menstrual periods. If the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry the egg to the uterus) some women have no symptoms, while others complain of lower abdominal pain, low back pain, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods. This is termed pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Men with signs/symptoms of gonorrhoea develop these 1 to 14 days after infection. These include a white, yellow or green discharge from the penis, and a burning sensation when urinating. Rarely, men may get painful or swollen testicles. Symptoms of rectal infection may include discharge, anal itch, soreness,  bleeding or painful bowel motions. Infection of the throat has usually no symptoms, but may cause soreness.

How is Gonorrhoea diagnosed?

Gonorrhoea is diagnosed by taking a swab from the cervix, throat, rectum or by testing a urine sample in men where appropriate.

The first few millilitres of urine should be provided (first void urine) and men should not urinate for at least 2 hours before providing the sample. The result should be available from the laboratory within a week. Alternatively, a quick microscopic test of a sample of the urethral (urine canal) discharge can be done in the doctor’s office.

How is Gonorrhoea treated?

Gonorrhoea is best treated with antibiotics.

Drug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea continue to pose a problem for physicians, and recommended antibiotic regimes change frequently. As many infected with gonorrhoea are also infected with chlamydia, treatment is commonly given for both concurrently. All sex partners should be tested and treated even if they have no symptoms.

Is there any aftercare required following Gonorrhoea treatment?

All persons with symptomatic gonorrhoea should be re-tested at 2 weeks to ensure cure and should abstain from unprotected sex until given the ‘all clear’.

How is Gonorrhoea prevented?

Gonorrhoea is best prevented by consistent and correct latex male condom use.

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