Gonorrhea also termed as “the clap,” is a widespread sexually transmitted disease (STD) occurring at the rate of about 6 million new cases per year in the US alone. It is the leading cause for several diseases in women and if gonorrhea is left untreated it may later lead to infertility. Diseases such as Pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring of the fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy, and endometriosis may happen due to gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea is caused by a specific bacterium called Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea rapidly spreads by contact of infected area of the body. Both men and women are at risk of getting gonorrhea. As gonorrhea sometimes show no symptoms at all, a pregnant woman may infect her baby as it passes through the birth canal. Gonorrhea can cause serious complications to the newborn baby.
As soon as a person notices the symptoms of gonorrhea, a diagnosis test must be done for the diagnosis of the disease. If a person is diagnosed with gonorrhea he or she must undergo a treatment as soon as possible to get rid of the infection. If you think you’re infected or you have had a partner who may have been infected with gonorrhea, you must go and consult your doctor or gynecologist. The doctor will then conduct the diagnosis test. The doctor performs the diagnosis test taking a sample by swabbing the vagina or penis for discharge. The sample will then be analyzed at the laboratory.
|What is gonorrhea?|
If a person is diagnosed with gonorrhea infection, the doctor prescribes antibiotics for treating the infection. Anybody with whom the patient had had sex in the last 2 months, or last sexual partner if it has been more than 2 months since the patients last sexual experience, should also be tested and treated for gonorrhea immediately. A quick treatment will diminish the possibility of complications for a person who is a sexual partner and has gonorrhea. This lowers the chance of a person being reinfected if someone has sex with that partner again. Treating gonorrhea doesn’t make you immune to the disease; you can still be reinfected with the disease.
Several antibiotics have successfully cured gonorrhea in adolescents and adults. Though, drug-resistant variants of gonorrhea are growing in many regions of the world, including the United States. Thus successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more complex day by day. Since many people with gonorrhea also have other STDs, antibiotics for other sexually transmitted infections are generally given together. Individuals suffering from gonorrhea should be tested and treated for other STDs.
Antibiotics that may be used to treat gonorrhea include:
- Amoxicillin 2 g plus probenecid 1 g orally
- Ampicillin 2 to 3 g plus probenecid 1 g orally
- Azithromycin 2 g orally
- Cefixime or Suprax 400 mg orally
- Cefotaxime 500 mg by intramuscular injection
- Cefoxitin 2 g by intramuscular injection, plus probenecid 1 g orally
- Cefpodoxime (Vantin) 400 mg orally
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) 125 to 250 mg by intramuscular injection
- Ciprofloxacin 500 mg orally
- Levofloxacin 250 mg orally
- Ofloxacin 400 mg orally
- Spectinomycin 2 g by intramuscular injection
These drugs are all given as a single dose.
The level of tetracycline resistance in Neisseria gonorrhœae is now so high as to make it completely ineffective in most parts of the world.
The fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin) cannot be used in pregnancy. It is important to refer all sexual partners to be checked for gonorrhea to prevent spread of the disease and to prevent the patient from becoming re-infected with gonorrhea. Patients should also be offered screening for other sexually transmitted infections. In areas where co-infection with chlamydia is common, doctors may prescribe a combination of antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone with doxycycline or azithromycin, to treat both diseases.
Penicillin is ineffective at treating rectal gonorrhea: this is because other bacteria within the rectum produce ?-lactamases that destroy penicillin. All current treatments are less effective at treating gonorrhea of the throat, so the patient must be rechecked by throat swab 72 hours or more after being given treatment, and then retreated if the throat swab is still positive.
Although gonorrhea usually does not require follow-up (with the exception of rectal or pharyngeal disease), patients are usually advised to phone for results five to seven days after diagnosis to confirm that the antibiotic they received was likely to be effective. Patients are advised to abstain from sex during this time.
Drug resistant strains are known to exist.