Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by an infection of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The infection can occur in both males and females and is usually due to unprotected sexual contact. The infection may occur in the genital regions, mouth, or anus. In early stages the infection produces non specific symptoms like abnormal discharges from penis or vagina, pain during urination or bowel movements, itching in the anus, etc. If left untreated, gonorrhea can spread to the rest of the body and produce much severe conditions including meningitis and arthritis, and may also lead to infertility in both males and females.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae spreads mostly through unprotected sexual contact. People at risk include those with multiple sexual partners, partners of the same gender especially male, people involved in sex work, etc. Infected pregnant women have a risk of passing the infection to their child causing severe consequences for the newborn. Infection of gonorrhea is usually accompanied by other sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, and also increases the risk of an infection of HIV.
Treatment for the condition is simple and in the early stages can be treated with targeted antibiotics. If the infection turns systemic, more vigorous treatment is required to deal with the infection and its symptoms.
The primary treatment for gonorrhea involves antibiotics since the disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Broad spectrum antibiotics like penicillin used to be prescribed, but with the rise of antibiotic resistance, more specific antibiotics are used today to treat the condition. Medications are administered intravenously and oral antibiotics are rarely used. If a gonorrhea infection is detected in a person, their sexual partner also needs to be checked and treated for gonorrhea. Much more vigorous treatment procedures are followed if the infection becomes systemic and starts affecting other organs.
In early stages the infection is characterized by abnormal discharges from genital organs, sores or lesions in the genital regions or mouth, etc. Diagnostic tests need to be performed if such symptoms appear to identify the risk of a gonococcal infection. Positive results in these tests indicate a gonococcal infection and needs to be treated. Partners of those infected with gonorrhea also need to undergo treatment.
Some symptoms of gonorrhea may also be visible in sexually transmitted viral infections. Such people are not eligible to be treated for gonorrhea by antibiotics.
Some side effects may be associated with antibiotic use, especially if used incorrectly.
Post treatment guidelines involve using condoms as contraceptives during sexual intercourse and limiting the number of partners for sexual intercourse. Abstaining from any intercourse during and for some weeks after the treatment is also advised.
Complete recovery is made within a few weeks after treatment.
Treatment for gonorrhea costs between Rs. 500 and Rs. 10,000, and may go up higher if complications develop.
The results of the treatment are effective unless another gonococcal infection occurs.
Some alternative traditional and herbal remedies are practiced to treat gonorrhea. However, their effectiveness is doubtful.