One of the illnesses that people dread to get is gonorrhea. Learning about the symptoms of gonorrhea can enable one to start treatment early so as to avoid further complications. Before discussing the symptoms of gonorrhea in women let us first analyze what this illness is and how one can get it.
In this article, we have compiled all the information about the disease and its symptoms and what you can do to prevent your self from ever getting it.
What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease, STD, which can occur in both men and women. The cause of gonorrhea is a bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It mostly occurs in parts of the body that are warm and moist. These parts can include the vagina, anus, urethra, throat, eyes and the female reproductive tract.
Since it is an STD, gonorrhea is spread through sex. A person who has it can infect another through anal, oral or vaginal sex if they engage in unprotected sex. The people who are likely to get infected with this disease are those who have multiple sex partners and engage in sex without using a condom.
Having this disease can lower your self esteem that is why instead of waiting to seek for treatment, the best way of preventing yourself from infection is by abstaining from sex. If you have to engage, then you should use a condom. You might also want to consider being in a monogamous marriage. Avoiding behaviors that expose you to sexual activities such as drug abuse can also come in handy to help you prevent infection of STDS.
Another fact about gonorrhea is that it cannot be spread through toilet seats. Some women believe that if they sit on a toilet seat that a person who is infected with the disease had sat on, they can get infected with gonorrhea. However, this is a misconception. The bacterium that causes gonorrhea cannot survive outside the body. It requires conditions of warmth and moisture so as to grow and reproduce. Also, it cannot grow when it is on hands, skin or arms. People who suffer from gonorrhea are also likely to be infected with chlamydia, this is a bacteria that causes other STDs.
Signs of gonorrhea in females
As a woman, you have a duty of ensuring that your reproductive health system is healthy. One way you can do this is by knowing the signs of gonorrhea. This can help you determine if you are infected or not and whether or not you need treatment.
After exposure to this infection, the symptoms usually show up within 2 to 14 days. But, not all people who are infected with this disease can show the symptoms. These types of people can infect another person. They are usually known as non-symptomatic carriers. Notably, when the signs are hard to notice, that is the time that the person can infect other people.
Unlike in men, women can have a difficult time telling whether or not it is gonorrhea that they are infected with. When the symptoms develop, they are similar to those of other infections. The symptoms of gonorrhea are similar to vaginal yeast infections. Below are the symptoms of gonorrhea;
1. Burning sensation urinating
When you have gonorrhea, you can dread urinating because of the pain that you feel. This pain is caused by inflammation of the urinary tract and the genital areas. This is one of the symptoms that should prompt you to seek medical help as soon as possible.
2. Watery, creamy, or slightly green vaginal discharge
This is another way of how to know if you have gonorrhea. You will feel that the discharge increases and that it is abnormal. It could appear creamy, watery or have some greenish color in it. Sometimes, there might be a bad odor.
3. Frequent urination
If you have gonorrhea, you will tend to visit the toilet more often than you do. While this is a sign of this infection, the frequent urination could be caused by something else. Either way, you need to visit the doctor.
4. Heavy periods or spotting between periods
Gonorrhea symptoms include a woman having heavy period than they usually get. They can also experience some spotting in between their periods. This happens because the infection causes inflammation of the cervix. It is always good to visit the gynecologist so that they can determine whether the issue is a result of gonorrhea or any other STD.
5. Sore throat
Obviously, you can get a sore throat in another way such as through a common cold. However, it could be a sign that you are infected from gonorrhea. This sore throat is likely to occur if you have oral sex. If the sore throat feels scratchy and it won’t go away, visit the doctor so that they can advise.
6. Pain during sex
Sex should never be painful unless you have an infection. When you have gonorrhea, you will feel a lot of pain during sex. The pain at times can be mild or sharp. Once you have this infection, the tissues of the cervix and the vagina become very sensitive. As such, you are likely to be exposed to some type of pain. Pain during sexual intercourse is a common symptom in other STDs but a gonorrhea test would be very necessary.
7. Bleeding during sex or after
Like mentioned earlier, the inflammation caused by gonorrhea makes the cervix and the vagina tissues to become extra sensitive. When there is deep vaginal penetration, the penis can tamper with the tissues and cause some bleeding. The bleeding might occur immediately or after the sex. If you notice this symptom, ensure to consult the doctor. It could be the gonorrhea or another lady issue.
8. Pelvic pains
Some women infected with gonorrhea might find themselves experiencing pains in their pelvis. This pain is different from the one felt during menstruation or when one has cramps.
9. Sharp pain in the abdomen
Pain in the abdomen is often associated with menstrual cramps. However, it could also be a sign that one has the gonorrhea infection. If the pain will not go away, visit the doctor for more advice.
You might experience fever after gonorrhea infection.
When you discover that you have a gonorrhea infection, you should not panic. The major step is usually knowing that you are infected with gonorrhea. When you have this information, you can treat it with antibiotics as advised by your doctor.
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Testing for gonorrhea
It is recommended for women who are sexually active to get tested for gonorrhea regularly. Most of the symptoms associated with this infection are usually common in other diseases. Therefore, it is easy for a person to assume that they are suffering from something else apart from gonorrhea. This is where the problem sets in. Lack of spotting gonorrhea early and treating it can lead to further complications such as infertility.
There are several ways that a doctor can diagnose gonorrhea infection. One of the ways is to take the fluid from the area that has the symptoms, for instance the anus, vagina, throat, eyes or urethra. They then put the fluid on a glass slide. If they notice that there is a blood infection, the doctor will draw blood by using a needle. Later on, they will examine the sample under a microscope after adding a stain. If there is a reaction of the cells on the stain, then there is a gonorrhea infection. Even though this process is quick, it does not give accurate results. But a lab technologist can intervene to determine if the infection is present or not.
The second method for testing involves taking the sample of fluid and placing it if a special dish. The sample will undergo incubation under the ideal conditions for growth for some days. If gonorrhea is present, a colony of bacteria will grow on the sample. Gonorrhea test results can be obtained within 24 hours to 3 days.
Unlike men, women are likely to suffer from long-term complications from gonorrhea infection. Even though the gonorrhea infection is felt around the vagina and the urethra, it can spread to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. This leads to a disease known as pelvic inflammatory disease, PID. PID can become very severe, painful and it can damage the female reproductive organs.
Another complication caused by gonorrhea is that it can block or scar the fallopian tubes. This kind of complication is very detrimental as it can cause ectopic pregnancy or cause a woman not to get pregnant in the future. Also, during the delivery, the infection can be passed on to the newborn.
When gonorrhea infection reaches the blood stream, a woman can suffer from inflammation of the brain lining, damage of the heart valve, and arthritis. To avoid these complications, it is wise to test for gonorrhea and get treatment as soon as possible.
Treatment for gonorrhea
A good thing about gonorrhea is that it can be treated. If you are looking for how to cure gonorrhea without going to the doctor, know that there are no home remedies. You must visit the doctor once you notice the symptoms. Doctors are the only ones who know the best antibiotics to administer.
The only sure way to treating gonorrhea is by using antibiotics. To treat gonorrhea, you are usually injected with Ceftriaxone and given an oral dose of Azithromycin. You should start feeling better after taking the antibiotics. While in some hospitals you will be expected to pay for the services, others offer treatment for free.
Unfortunately, there are specific gonorrhea infections that are antibiotic resistant. In such cases, doctors usually use intensive treatment methods. An individual might be required to take a seven day oral dose or a combination of two antibiotics for seven days. During the extended therapy, antibiotics can be taken once or twice every day.
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Prevention of gonorrhea
Despite the awareness that has been created by healthcare experts, people are still getting infected with STIs such as gonorrhea. Since this infection has severe complications, the best way is to prevent it. Below are some of the ways that it can be prevented;
1. Abstinence from sex
Whether you are preventing an STI or gonorrhea, abstinence is the surest way. When you abstain, you are not risking yourself to any chance that can lead to gonorrhea infection.
2. Engaging in protected sex
If you are in marriage or sexually active, abstinence might not be a choice for you. However, you can prevent gonorrhea infection by using a condom. Condoms not only prevent gonorrhea but also other STIs and HIV.
3. Embrace a monogamous relationship
If you want to completely avoid STIs, you should be in a monogamous set up. Part of the reason why gonorrhea spreads to people is because they have several sexual partners. Having one partner that you trust can go a long way in living a gonorrhea free life.
4. Ask your infected partner to seek medical advice
If you notice that your partner has gonorrhea infections, do not have sexual intercourse with them. Tell them to visit the hospital first.
5. Regular STD testing
You are at higher risk of being infected with gonorrhea if you have another STD. Therefore, ensure to go for regular STD tests.
Identifying the symptoms of gonorrhea in women will help you in determining whether you have the infection or not. When you visit the hospital, provide all the necessary details so that the doctor might be in a better position to help you. Also, ensure to complete the doses given by the doctor. Do not self-diagnose as you might not completely treat the infection. Because gonorrhea can lead to reproductive issues such as infertility, it is wise for women to carry out STD tests very often.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content including text, graphics, images, and information contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.