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Gonorrhea

WHAT IS GONORRHEA?

Gonorrhea is a highly infectious, sexually transmitted (venereal) disease, affecting the reproductive organs. It sometimes occurs simultaneously with syphilis. You must give proper history to your doctor, especially of any suspicious contacts and ensure that your confidentiality is maintained

GONORRHEA INVOLVES

  • Males - urethra (passage for urine from the bladder to the outside).
  • Females - urethra; reproductive system.
  • Both sexes - rectum; throat; joints; eyes (rare).

AFFECTS

Both sexes and all ages. Even young children of persons who have sexual contact with infected persons. The peak incidence is between ages 20 and 30 coinciding with the age of promiscuity.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Males usually have more pronounced symptoms whereas females often have fewer or no symptoms..

CAUSES

GONORRHEA is caused by a bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoea, which are usually transmitted sexually, but some cases are of unknown origin. Sexual activity involving the rectum or mouth may transmit infection to those areas if either partner is infected.

RISK INCREASES WITH

  • Multiple sexual partners, whether heterosexual or homosexual.
  • Prostitution.
  • Child sexual abuse.

HOW TO PREVENT

  • SAFE SEX.

DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES

  • Typical symptoms.
  • History and examination by a doctor.
  • Laboratory culture and microscopic analysis of the discharge from the reproductive organs, rectum or throat.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

PROBABLE OUTCOME

Usually curable in 1 to 2 weeks with treatment.

TREATMENT

GENERAL

  • Wash hands frequently--especially after urination and bowel movements.
  • Don't touch eyes with hands.
  • Sexual contact(s), must seek treatment.

SPECIFIC

  • Antibiotics will be prescribed to fight the infection, to be taken by both sexual partners.
  • BEWARE - Home remedies or folk medicine treatments are ineffective.

ACTIVITY

No restrictions, except don't resume sexual activity until your doctor is sure that the infection is cured.

DIET

No special diet. Reduce consumption of caffeine and alcohol during treatment. These irritate the urethra.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF

  • Suggestive symptoms of gonorrhea.
  • You develop chills, fever, abdominal pain, genital sores or joint pain--either before or during treatment.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
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