What is Gonorrhoea?
What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhoea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. Therefore, it can be transmitted from oral, vaginal and anal sex.
How common is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a very common infectious disease. CDC estimates that more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrhoeal infections each year. Less than half of these infections are reported to CDC. It is even more common in developing countries where antibiotic resistance has emerged.
How do people get Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is spread through contact with body fluid from the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhoea to be transmitted or acquired. It can also be transmitted by unprotect oral sex. Gonorrhoea can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.
People who have had gonorrhoea and received treatment may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with gonorrhoea. The body does not develop immunity to it.
Who is at risk for Gonorrhoea?
Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhoea. From our local data, the most common places people acquire gonorrhoea are from developing countries like China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam. More people catch gonorrhoea from unprotected oral sex than vaginal intercourse as more people have oral sex unprotected.
What are the signs and symptoms of Gonorrhoea?
Although some men with gonorrhoea do not have any symptom, most men have signs or symptoms that appear one to fourteen days after infection. Symptoms from vaginal or anal contact tend to appear earlier compared to after oral sex. Symptoms and signs include a burning sensation when urinating, and/or a white/yellow, or greenish discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhoea get painful or swollen testicles after the bacteria had travelled up the urinary track.
What are the risks of Gonorrhoea?
The incubation period is 2 to 14 days, with most symptoms appearing between 4 and 6 days after infection. Rarely, gonorrhea may cause skin lesions and joint infection (pain and swelling in the joints) after traveling through the blood stream (see below). Very rarely it may settle in the heart causing endocarditis or in the spinal column causing meningitis (both are more likely among individuals with suppressed immune systems, however).
Having a case of gonorrhea is associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.