Research shows that gonorrhea, which is a form of sexually transmitted disease (STD), may not be accompanied by any symptoms. As a result, identifying its appearance is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand. However, understand that generally the symptoms of gonorrhea will be seen in various parts of the body, including the genital area, reproductive system, rectum, eyes, and joints. Experts state that some of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea are the appearance of a painful or burning sensation when urinating, abnormal discharge from the genital area, pain or swelling in the male testicles, and abnormal bleeding outside of menstruation in women. If you feel you are experiencing one of them, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment!
Part 1 of 3: Identifying Gonorrhea Risk Factors
Step 1. Understand that gonorrhea infection can cause different symptoms in men and women
In particular, 50% of women with gonorrhea do not show any symptoms. Meanwhile, 9 out of 10 men will generally experience specific symptoms. Some of the symptoms commonly experienced by both men and women are pain when urinating, abnormal discharge from the genital area, and pain in the pelvic area and/or lower abdomen.
Step 2. Understand the process of transmission of gonorrhea
Indeed, gonorrhea can occur to those who have sexual intercourse through the vagina, anus, or orally with a partner who has the bacterial infection. The key is direct contact! In addition, pregnant women who have gonorrhea can also transmit the infection to their fetuses during childbirth.
Take the necessary precautions, such as wearing a condom or dental dam when having sex, and limiting the number of sexual partners you have
Step 3. Understand the problems that will occur if the gonorrhea infection is not treated
Basically, gonorrhea can trigger various types of health complications. In women, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which typically occurs when the infection has spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes. If not treated promptly, PID can lead to chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy. In addition, PID can also damage women's reproductive organs and make them experience fertility problems, as well as facilitate the transmission of HIV. Meanwhile, prolonged gonorrhea in men can cause permanent painful sensations when urinating.
Step 4. Check with a doctor
Remember, gonorrhea is not a disease that can be treated with natural remedies or simply by maintaining personal hygiene. If you are currently classified as sexually active or think you have had sex with someone who has a gonorrhea infection, see a doctor immediately.
Part 2 of 3: Identifying Gonorrhea Symptoms
Step 1. Watch out for a burning sensation when urinating
One of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea experienced by both men and women is a painful or burning sensation when urinating. Although it can go away on its own, generally the sensation that appears is so painful that it makes you feel like you have to see a doctor.
Step 2. Watch for abnormal discharge from the genital area
In both men and women, gonorrhea infection can trigger the discharge of thick and yellowish to greenish discharge from the genital area. Specifically, the fluid is produced by the gonorrhea bacteria itself, and is the body's way of expelling objects it perceives as foreign. In women, discharge can also be accompanied by bleeding outside the menstrual period.
If the vagina produces abnormal fluid, immediately see a doctor
Step 3. Watch for pain in the pelvis and lower abdominal area
The condition may accompany PID, which is one of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea in women. If there is inflammation in the pelvis, chances are that the body will also experience a fever with a temperature exceeding 38 degrees Celsius! So far, there are 750,000 diagnoses of PID each year, and 10% of sufferers have proven fertility problems.
Step 4. Watch for sore or swollen genital area
In both men and women, gonorrhea can cause inflammation in the genital area.
- In women, gonorrhea can cause swelling, pain, and redness in the vulva area or vaginal opening.
- In men, gonorrhea can trigger swelling of the testicles and inflammation of the prostate gland.
Step 5. Be aware of pain during bowel movements
In both men and women who have anal intercourse, gonorrhea can cause symptoms such as abnormal discharge from the anus and pain during bowel movements. In particular, regular and persistent diarrhea can also be a symptom of anal gonorrhea. If you feel you are experiencing one of them, immediately consult a doctor!
Step 6. Watch out for trouble swallowing
Gonorrhea pharyngitis or gonorrhea infection that occurs in the mouth, is generally accompanied by symptoms such as sore throat, difficulty swallowing, yellowish or whitish discharge, and the appearance of redness in certain areas. The symptoms are actually the same in men and women. Although people with oral gonorrhea do not usually pass the infection on to other people, the risk of transmission remains if there is direct contact with the back of the mouth area. In particular, kissing is generally not a medium of transmission, but contact with the area between the pharynx and other parts of the body carries a risk of transmission that should be wary of.
Most people who have oral gonorrhea misunderstand the condition as a symptom of strep throat or the common cold. In other words, the diagnosis of oral gonorrhea will only be received and known after seeing a doctor
Part 3 of 3: See a Doctor
Step 1. Check with a doctor
If you are a woman who feels you are experiencing symptoms of gonorrhea or have supporting risk factors, do not hesitate to see a doctor. Basically, many female gonorrhea sufferers do not experience any symptoms, or have nonspecific conditions that can be easily misunderstood as symptoms of other diseases.
Gonorrhea can only be cured through medical treatment. If not treated immediately, it is feared that various serious advanced health problems will arise, such as chronic pain and fertility problems in both men and women. Sooner or later, untreated gonorrhea infection can spread to the blood and joints, potentially endangering the life of the sufferer
Step 2. Perform a medical examination
Most likely, the doctor will take a urine sample or perform a swab of the cervix, vagina, rectum, urethra, throat, or other locations where a gonorrhea bacterial infection is suspected. Currently, there are several types of examinations that can be done to identify the presence of gonorrhea neisseria bacteria.
If what your doctor needs is a urine sample, make sure you don't urinate for at least 2 hours before the test is done to prevent bacteria from being excreted with the urine before being examined by a doctor. Don't worry, most inspection methods can be completed in just a few days, really
Step 3. Consult the doctor for possible complications
In some cases, gonorrhea bacteria can leave a long-term negative impact. For example, women may experience cervicitis, an abscess in the fallopian tube, or even an ectopic pregnancy. Meanwhile, men may experience persistent pain in the epididymis (the tube in the scrotum that connects the testicles to the vas deferens) for up to six weeks after infection.
Step 4. Get medical treatment
So far, the drugs commonly given to patients with gonorrhea are injections of ceftriaxone in a dose of 250 mg and 1 gram of azithromycin which must be taken orally. If ceftriaxone is not available, your doctor will usually give you 400 mg of cefixime in a single dose and 1 gram of azithromycin.
- Because some types of gonorrhea bacteria are resistant to these drugs, you may need to take additional antibiotics to increase their effectiveness.
- Most likely, you will need to go back for a gonorrhea test after a month to identify the effectiveness of the treatment that has been carried out, and evaluate whether or not other, more effective treatment methods are needed. In addition, the gonorrhea examination should also be repeated whenever your sexual partner changes.
Step 5. Wait at least seven days after treatment for sexual intercourse again
In other words, make sure your body is completely clean of these bacteria to prevent further transmission to others.