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  • Gonorrhoea is a very common STI and mainly spreads through the sexual route

  • Gonorrhoea is caused by a virus called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus

  • It affects a wide set of organs such as the genitals, the eye, the rectum and the pharynx

  • Gonorrhoea can also cause conjunctivitis, especially in people with a weak immune system and in case of infants

  • The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that half of the new gonorrhoea infections occur among young adults in the age group of 15 to 24

  • This is a curable infection

Neisseria gonorrhoea virus
Gonorrhoea symptoms, treatment and prevention

Transmission of Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea usually spreads due to one of the following

  • During unprotected sexual intercourse, through the vaginal fluid or semenEjaculation does not need to occur for gonorrhoea to spread

  • Transmission from mother to the baby during childbirth

  • Reinfection can occur if one has unprotected sexual intercourse after treatment (until infection totally clears)

  • Contaminated fingers touching the eye can cause Gonococcal conjunctivitis

  • Sharing of unclean sex toys also spreads the disease

Gonorrhoea is not spread by kissing, hugging, swimming pools, toilet seats or sharing baths, towels, cups, plates or cutlery. The bacteria cannot survive outside the human body for long.

Symptoms of Gonorrhoea

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in men and women

Complications of Gonorrhoea

If not treated in time, Gonorrhoea can cause multiple complications in both men and women:

  • If untreated, Gonorrhoea can cause several complications in men which lead to infertility

  • Gonorrhoea has been strongly linked to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in women which also results in infertility

  • Moreover, the spread from a mother to new-born can cause conjunctivitis in new-borns 

  • When gonorrhoea spread becomes severe and spreads to the bloodstream, it is known as Disseminated Gonococcal Infection (DGI) and this can cause symptoms like: Arthritis, Inflammation and redness of skin, collection of fluid in joints, conjunctivitis, etc. This condition is life threatening

Prevention of Gonorrhoea

  • Sensitise young adults regarding the risks of gonorrhoea, especially young women

  • Do not engage in unprotected sexual intercourse, especially with multiple partners 

  • Pregnant women should always be screened for Gonorrhoea in order to prevent any spread to child during childbirth

  • Partners of infected patients should be informed and tested to prevent further infections

  • Do not use shared sex toys without proper washing or always put a condom on the toy

Treatment of Gonorrhoea

  • For treatment, a wide range of antibiotics like ceftriaxone, ciproflaxin and ofloflaxin are prescribed

  • The sexual partner/s should also be traced and tested for the disease

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