Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s caused by infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It tends to infect warm and moist areas of the body, such as:
- urethra (the tube that drains urine from the urinary bladder)
- female reproductive tract (the Fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus)
Gonorrhoea passes from person to person through unprotected oral, anal, or vag*nal s3x. People with numerous sexual partners and also those who don’t use a condom are at greatest risk of infection. The best protection against infections are abstinence. Measures such as monogamy (s3x with only one partner) and proper condom usage also helps.
Symptoms of gonorrhoea
Symptoms usually occur within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the infection. However, some people infected with gonorrhoea are asymptomatic. It’s therefore important to remember that a person with gonorrhoea who doesn’t have symptoms, is still contagious. You are more likely to spread the infection to other partners when you don’t have noticeable symptoms.
Men may not develop noticeable symptoms for several weeks. However, some men may never develop any symptoms. However, symptoms usually shows a week after infection. The first noticeable symptom in men is often a burning or painful sensation during urination. As it progresses, other symptoms may appear:
- Frequency or urgency of urination
- A pus-like discharge (or drip) from the pen*s (white, yellow, beige, or greenish)
- Swelling or redness at the opening of the pen*s
- Swelling or pain in the testicles
- A persistent sore throat
The infection will stay in the body for a few weeks after the symptoms have been treated. In rare instances, gonorrhoea can continue to cause damage to the body. This is specifically in the urethra and testicles. Pain may also spread to the rectum.
Many women don’t develop any typical symptoms. However, when women do develop symptoms, they tend to be mild or similar to other infections such as chlamydia. Therefore, it is more difficult to diagnose. Gonorrhoea infections can mimic diseases such as vaginal yeast or bacterial infections.
- Watery, creamy, or slightly greenish discharge from the vag*na
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- The need to urinate more frequently
- Heavier periods or spotting
- Sore throat
- Pain upon engaging in s3xual intercourse
- Sharp pain in the lower abdomen