Gonorrhoea | Complications
Untreated gonorrhoea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is the most common complication after gonorrhoea infection. The symptoms range from mild lower abdominal/pelvic pain to very severe including fever.
PID can lead to internal abscesses (pus-filled “pockets” that are hard to cure) in the pelvis which can lead to long-lasting, chronic pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and permanent blockage that leads to infertility or increase the risk of Ectopic Pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. It can lead to rupture of the fallopian tube which can result in massive internal bleeding.
Epididymitis and Orchitis
In men, gonorrhoea can cause epididymitis and orchitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles or the testes itself. It causes severe pain and may lead to infertility if left untreated.
Gonorrhoea can spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life threatening or causing damage to heart valves. In addition, people with gonorrhoea are more susceptible to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV-infected people with gonorrhoea can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhoea.
If a pregnant woman has gonorrhoea, she may give the infection to her baby through vaginal delivery. The infection can cause blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby. Treatment of gonorrhoea as soon as it is detected in pregnant women will reduce the risk of these complications. Pregnant women should consult sexual health provider for appropriate examination, testing, and treatment.