Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by gram negative diplococci bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoea. Incubation period of this disease is 2-8 days that is signs and symptoms of gonorrheal infection will appear 2-8 days after exposure to infection. It may take up to 30 days for symptoms to appear in some cases. It usually infects moist warm body parts like urethra, rectum, cervix, penis and pharynx.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gonorrhoea
Men are more likely to show disease symptoms after exposure as compared to females who are usually asymptomatic. In men, symptoms of this disease include pain and burning sensation during urination, inflamed testicles, redness and swelling of penis and thick yellow, green or brown discharge from penis tip. Females who are symptomatic presents with abnormal menstrual bleeding, rectal discomfort, vaginal discharge, soreness in pelvic area and conjunctivitis.
In males, the infection can spread to prostate, seminal vesicles and epididymis and in women the infection may extend to uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and may even cause sterility. Infection may enter into blood stream producing gonococcal bacteraemia in patients with low body immunity and in those who remain without treatment for a long time.
Tests For Gonorrhoea
History of sexual contact with purulent discharge through urethra in males and vagina in females makes the diagnosis likely. The confirmation of diagnosis can be done with urine or swab test. Specimen of urethral discharge is collected. In females, cervical swab is also collected in addition to urethral discharge as a part of pelvic examination.
High vaginal swabs are not satisfactory in females. Centrifuged urine deposits are examined in cases where no urethral discharge is available. Collected specimen is sent to a laboratory and gram staining can be done to detect causative bacteria through the microscope. Culture of the organism on selective media and characteristic biochemical tests like oxidase test and fermentation test further help in confirmation.
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ELISA test can also be done to diagnose this STD. It is a reliable method to reach a confirm diagnosis. Serological tests are of not much help as they can give false positive results due to cross reactivity with other bacteria. None of the tests for diagnosis of gonorrhoea is painful.
Treatment Of Gonorrhoea
Management of this disease is easy. Gonorrhoeal bacteria are sensitive to large doses of penicillin or doxycycline. With a single dose of suitable antibiotic, uncomplicated gonorrhoea can be treated. Oral amoxicillin, ampicillin or cotrimoxazole can be given for treatment of this infection. Administration of procaine penicillin 2.4g intramuscularly can also be done to cure penicillin sensitive uncomplicated gonorrhoea.
In some countries, penicillin resistant strains of gonorrhoea are found. To cure penicillin resistant gonorrhoea, ciprofloxacin tablet or cefotaxime injection can be given. After treatment, second test needs to be done to ascertain that gonorrheal infection is cured.
During the process of treatment, patient is instructed not to have sexual relationship until the disease is cured. Gonorrhoea can be controlled by early detection of cases, tracing of contacts, health education and other general measures. Condoms can be used to prevent transmission of disease.
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