What is Gonorrhoea?

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Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that causes discharges coming out from the genitalia. It is the third most common sexually transmitted infection in  Malta, after chlamydia and genital warts. The disease usually spreads via unprotected sexual activity.

This condition could pose serious health problems if left undiagnosed and untreated. However with early recognition of symptoms, accurate diagnosis, and prompt treatment, gonorrhoea is easily treatable.

Who is Affected by Gonorrhoea?

Public Health England reports that 2016 saw a 12% decrease in gonorrhoea cases as compared to the previous year. There were 36,244 confirmed gonorrhoea cases during that time, mostly comprised of sexually-active people 25 years old and below.

Younger age groups are especially susceptible to catching gonorrhoea because they are more likely to change partners often due to engagement in casual sex.

Gonorrhoea Symptoms

As with other STIs, gonorrhoea may present with no symptoms at all. Almost 10% of men and 50% of women infected with this bacterial condition are asymptomatic. However, here are the symptoms to watch out for if you think you are at risk of contracting the disease:

For women:

  • An odourless, yellowish vaginal discharge

  • Pain and burning sensation during urination

  • Vaginal bleeding

  • Changes in the monthly period

  • Stomach pain

For men:

  • Yellowish penile discharge with accompanying itching

  • Pain and burning sensation during urination

  • Pain in the testicles

  • Penile swelling, especially in the head part 

The common symptoms between females and males are the yellowish discharge coming out of the genitalia and the burning sensation during peeing.

What causes Gonorrhoea?

Neisseria gonorrhoea bacteria is the culprit behind gonorrhoea. It is a contagious form of bacteria that spreads through:

  • Unprotected sexual contact

  • Non-penetrative sexual contact

  • Not using condoms during oral, vaginal, or anal sex

  • Sharing of infected sex toys

 Contracting the disease before also predisposes you to a repeat infection.

Gonorrhoea Treatment

Your doctor will typically prescribe an antibiotic course to treat your gonorrhoea. Antibiotics may either be taken in oral form or as an injection given in your thigh or buttocks. Sometimes, the injection will be given initially, followed by an oral course of antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria completely.

Physicians are especially vigilant in prescribing antibiotics for gonorrhoea nowadays. This is due to the emergence of a new bacterial strain that causes “super-gonorrhoea” – an illness variation that doesn’t respond to conventional antibiotic treatment due to antibiotic resistance. Hence, it is important to discuss proper antibiotic use and possible alternative treatment options with our online doctors.

Gonorrhoea in Pregnancy

Gonorrhoea in pregnancy

 Gonorrhoea can cause serious problems for your baby’s health when left undiagnosed and untreated. Here are the possible complications your baby might catch once he/she gets the gonorrhoea infection from you:

  • Preterm birth

  • Stillbirth

  • Miscarriage

  • Conjunctivitis upon birth that could lead to possible blindness

 Gonorrhoea may also cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a condition that may cause a lot of damage to your reproductive organs. Your chances of getting an ectopic pregnancy (an egg getting fertilised outside your womb) also rises in conjunction with PID and gonorrhoea. Infertility risks become higher as well.

Mobidoctor physicians can diagnose your gonorrhoea at any time during your pregnancy. They can safely provide medications to ensure that your baby doesn’t contract the bacteria in-utero. 

See your doctor right away if you think you’re at risk for gonorrhoea and you’re pregnant at the same time. The earlier the infection is caught, the better prognosis it has for you and your unborn child.