General Practice 2022

Gonorrhea: what é, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

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Gonorrhea: what é, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
Gonorrhea: what é, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Gonorrhea is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is transmitted from person to person through anal, oral or penetrative sex without a condom. In most cases, gonorrhea causes no symptoms, being discovered only after routine examinations, however in some people there may be pain or burning when urinating and a yellowish-white pus-like discharge.

It is important that gonorrhea is identified and treated quickly with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, otherwise there is a risk of the person developing complications, such as infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease, for example.

Gonorrhea is curable when the treatment is done according to the doctor's recommendation.However, some people may not respond correctly to treatment due to the bacteria's acquired resistance to commonly used antibiotics, which makes healing difficult. In this case it may be necessary to use a combination of different antibiotics to cure gonorrhea.

Symptoms of gonorrhea

Symptoms of gonorrhea may appear up to 10 days after contact with the bacteria responsible for the disease, however, in most cases in women, gonorrhea is asymptomatic, being identified only at the time of routine gynecological exams. In the case of men, most cases are symptomatic and symptoms appear a few days after unprotected sexual contact.

In addition, the signs and symptoms of infection by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria may vary according to the type of unprotected sexual intercourse, that is, whether it was oral, anal or penetrative, with the most frequently observed symptoms being:

  • Pain or burning when urinating;
  • Urinary incontinence;
  • Yellowish-white discharge, similar to pus;
  • Inflammation of the Bartholin's glands, which are on the sides of the vagina and are responsible for lubricating the woman;
  • Acute urethritis, which is more common in men;
  • Frequent urge to urinate;
  • Sore throat and voice impairment, when there is intimate oral intercourse;
  • Inflammation of the anus, when there is intimate anal intercourse.

In the case of women, when gonorrhea is not identified and treated correctly, there is an increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and sterility, as well as an increased chance of the bacteria spreading through the bloodstream and lead to joint pain, fever and the appearance of lesions in the extremities of the body.

Complications are less common in men, because most of the time they are symptomatic, which makes the identification and initiation of treatment for gonorrhea faster and easier.

However, when the treatment is not done according to the urologist's guidance, complications such as urinary incontinence, heaviness in the penis region and infertility can arise. Learn how to identify gonorrhea in men.

Gonorrhea in newborns

Gonorrhea in newborns can happen when the woman has the bacteria and the infection is not identified and treated during pregnancy, which increases the risk of transmitting Neisseria gonorrhoeae to the baby at the time of delivery.

Babies who come into contact with the bacteria during childbirth may show signs and symptoms such as pain and swelling in the eyes, purulent discharge and difficulty opening the eyes, which can lead to blindness when not treated properly.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of gonorrhea is made by the gynecologist or urologist based on physical exams and the result of laboratory tests, mainly microbiological, which are made from the analysis of urine, vaginal secretion or urethra, in the case of men, which are collected in a specialized laboratory.

The samples are taken to the laboratory for analysis, where they are subjected to a series of tests to identify the bacteria, in addition to serological and molecular tests to identify Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

In addition, an antibiogram is performed in order to verify the sensitivity and resistance profile of the microorganism to commonly used antibiotics. In this way, the doctor will be able to recommend the best antibiotic for the person's treatment.

Treatment of gonorrhea

Treatment for gonorrhea should be guided by a gynecologist, in the case of women, or a urologist, in the case of men, and is usually done with the use of Azithromycin in tablets and Ceftriaxone in a single injection to eliminate the bacterium that causes disease in the body.Usually the doctor indicates that the treatment should be done in 7 to 10 days, and the person should follow this treatment even if the symptoms no longer exist.

During treatment for gonorrhea it is important that the person avoid having sex until he is completely cured. In addition, the person's sexual partner should also be treated with antibiotics, even if they do not have symptoms, because of the risk of passing gonorrhea to other people. See how gonorrhea is treated.

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