It is an infection caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococcus). It is the most common sexually transmitted disease. In the United States, it is alleged that a woman gets gonorrhea every 30 seconds. These people become highly contagious during the incubation period of 3-5 days.
How is gonorrhea transmitted?
Not all women who have intercourse with a male with gonorrhea are infected. Infection develops in only 60% * 90 women. Female-to-male transmission is more difficult. 20-40% of men who have intercourse with a woman with gonorrhea become infected. It is mostly located in the cervix in women. Due to the structure of the tissues, gonorrhea bacteria cannot settle in the vaginal tissue. Except for the cervix, it holds the urethtra and Bartholin glands on either side of the entrance of the vagina, respectively. More than 80% of women remain asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms. This is an indication that the incubation period can be variable.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
The most common complaint caused by gonorrhea is vaginal discharge. This discharge is yellow-green in color and has a foul odor. It has a slimy structure. It may be accompanied by itching rarely. This picture may be accompanied by burning while urinating. The most common complaint after discharge is groin pain. Usually there is pain on both sides. Fever can be seen in the afternoon and evening. If the Bartholin gland is affected, there may be a very painful swelling at the entrance to the vagina, namely Bartholin’s abscess. If the microorganism passes into the bloodstream, it may cause infections in the joints. Joint pain and swelling are seen. There are no symptoms in a single joint. The pains are of the traveling type. One joint straightens and symptoms begin in another. This is called wandering joint pain. Rarely, throat infections due to gonococcus may develop. It may cause conjunctivitis in the eyes of the newborn by passing from mother to baby during birth. The most important complication of gonorrhea is pelvic inflammatory disease. It is when the infection progresses to the tubes and ovaries. It creates many complications, including infertility.
How is the diagnosis made?
Diagnosis is made by examining cervical and vaginal discharge. Gonorrhea is the most beneficial situation to take a vaginal culture. Growing gonococci in culture is sufficient for diagnosis. Even if clinically diagnosed, this should be confirmed by culture.
How is the treatment?
Gonorrhea is a disease that is extremely sensitive to treatment. Generally, improvement is achieved with antibiotic treatment. One week after the use of antibiotics, the cultures should be repeated to confirm that the infection has passed.