Gonorrhea, formerly known as The Clap, is on a rise throughout the world. This is a sexually transmitted infection that is easily passed between partners through any type of sexual contact. The bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, which causes the infection, likes to grow in dark, warm, moist places, making sexual organs the perfect habitat. This bacteria can even grow in the eyes.When a mother gives birth, the neonate is treated for the infection. This is a precautionary treatment, treated with a gel that is places in the baby’s eyes after delivery. This is because The Clap can be spread from mother to baby through delivery. Because sometimes women are asymptomatic for some time after contracting the infection, they may not know they are a carrier when they give birth.Gonorrhea is an infection that is reportable to the Public Health Department. This means that in every state, health care workers are required to report cases of the infection to the State Board of Public Health. The goal of reporting is to contact individuals who may have been exposed to the infection so they can get the treatment necessary to stay healthy. This is so with many of the sexually transmitted infections. This is especially important because some people may not experience any of the symptoms related with it.Symptoms in men differ from those in women. The symptoms in men may include burning or pain during urination, increased frequency of urination, and a white, yellow or even green discharge. Other symptoms may include a red, swollen urethra, swollen or tender testicles or even just a sore throat. It is important that a man experiencing any of these symptoms be checked out and tested immediately.
Women’s symptoms differ and it is just as important that they get checked out as well. They are often mild, non-specific or even may be mistaken for another illness. Symptoms include an unusual vaginal discharge, burning or pain or even increase in urination, or a sore throat. Other symptoms can include pain during intercourse, fever or severe pain in the lower abdomen if the infection has spread to the fallopian tubes. The infection may even spread to the bloodstream and throughout the body, causing arthritis-like pain.
Testing for the infection is easy. It is done through either sampling the tissue or discharge and looking at it under a microscope. This test is called a gram-stain test.
Preliminary results are available typically in twenty-four hours while infection diagnosis is typically available by seventy-two hours. An infection that has not yet spread to the bloodstream is usually treated with antibiotics. Because it is easily spread, it is important for all the sexual contacts of the person infected to be tested and treated.
If the infection goes untreated, there can be some serious complications. Complications for women include scarring of the fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and pregnant women may pass the disease to their child. In men, the complications from an untreated infection can be scarring of the urethra and an abscess around the urethral opening. For both sexes, the complications of gonorrhea may include joint infections, heart valve infections and even meningitis.