Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
It is also quite rampant among teens as well as people in their early 20s. it is so common that it is often referred to as “the drip” and “the clap” in certain parlances.
Gonorrhea transmission and contraction are typical of any form of unprotected sexual intercourse (i.e. oral, anal, and vaginal sex). It may also be passed down from an infected mother to child during childbirth. Vaginal fluids and semen are vectors (transmission vehicles) of the infection.
The most commonly infected areas are the vagina, penis, anus (especially in those who engage in anal sex), throat, urethra, cervix, and eyes (which is a rare case).
In most cases, gonorrhea can be stealthy or asymptomatic (i.e. without any symptoms). Such persons may carry the infection for years without knowing they are infected, thus putting them at the risk of further health complications which may include infertility among a host of others.
Gonorrhea diagnosis is not so much a big deal considering the advancements in modern science. However, the biggest challenge remains the difficulty in promptly realizing the presence of the disease without proper testing.
It is typical of the average individual not to take annual medical checkups seriously which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that sexually active women (especially those with multiple partners) get tested annually.
Routine gonorrhea test is seriously encouraged due to the further health complications that may arise from leaving the infected untreated simply because it was unspotted or unnoticed.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea for females
As it has been stated earlier, gonorrhea is asymptomatic in most people. Therefore it is very important that every female is on the lookout for the warning signs early enough.
This is because the bacterial infection can always be completely treated in its early stages, but some further health complications that may arise from a prolonged infection may not be repairable.
Some of the major warning signs or symptoms of gonorrhea include the following:
Pain or burning sensation during urination
This is an abnormal stinging or burning irritation that may come with some level of screaming when you visit the bathroom to urinate. It is a surefire sign that there is a vaginal infection that may have been sexually contracted.
The pain or burning sensation is usually caused by the contact of urine with the lesions in the genital regions or urinary tracts, such as labia or vulva. This condition requires that you book an appointment with your doctor ASAP.
Bleeding during or after sex
Bleeding during and after sex is one of the several signs and symptoms of gonorrhea for females. Usually, when you’ve had a prolonged infection of gonorrhea without treatment, it may result in a medical condition known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
The PID can cause the bleeding during or after sex as the penis or sex toy gets in contact with the inflamed tissue when thrusting deeply into the vagina. This is another sign that warrants an immediate call at your doctor’s office.
Painful sexual intercourse
There are varying degrees of sexual pain (i.e. from simple mild discomfort to the extreme stinging pain felt during penile thrusting).
Gonorrhea, especially when left untreated can lead to inflammation of the cervix and vagina tissue (i.e. pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), thus resulting in extra sensitivity around the region.
However, painful sexual intercourse can be a symptom of other “down there infections” and it is very important to get tested once you notice this symptom.
Prolonged sore throat
Generally, the throat is the headquarters of several billions of mild bacteria. Recent records show that gonorrhea in the throat is becoming very notorious and drug-resistant.
Unlike the other benign bacteria in the throat, gonorrhea may lead to inflammation of the throat as well as a sore throat that just wouldn’t go. Be that as it may, sore throats are directly linked with fever or the common cold. Nonetheless, the stubborn sore throat conditions that just wouldn’t go call for urgent medical attention.
Heavy vaginal discharges
Vaginal discharge is a normal process through which the vagina sheds dead cells from the vagina through fluids released from the cervix and vagina glands. However, an increase in discharges from the vagina is one of the typical symptoms of gonorrhea infection in women.
Chlamydia, which is known as a co-infection, may also lead to heavy vaginal discharges as well. In some cases, the color of these discharges may ooze out some foul odor along with some greenish hue or with some bloody discharge.
Getting tested is surely the first step if the discharge is as a result of an STD.