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Gonorrhoea

Other names

GC, clap (from Clapior, French for brothel), drip.

Cause

Bacteria - Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Distribution

Worldwide

Transmission
  • Sexual
  • Mother to child - Infected vaginal secretions may contaminate the babys eyes during delivery.
Incubation

2 - 20 days.

Symptoms

Gonorrhoea may affect the genitals, rectum, throat or eyes.

Gonncoccal urethritis - the most common type of gonorrhoea in men. Women are less commonly affected.

- Burning urination (dysuria).
- Pus discharging from the urethra.
- No symptoms (5 -20%).

Gonococcal cervicitis - the most common type of gonorrhoea in women.

- Vaginal discharge
- Itching
- No symptoms (80%)

Rectal gonorrhoea - in women and men who have passive (receptive) anal sex.

- Diarrhoea
- Discharge from the anus
- Blood and pus in the faeces.
- Itching in the anus.
- No symptoms.

Pharyngeal (throat) gonorrhoea

- in those who have passive (receptive) oral sex.
- Mild sorethroat.
- No symptoms

Gonococcal conjuctivitis - may be due to contaminated fingers transferring infection to the eyes in the adult or from an infected mother to her child during vaginal delivery.

- discharge of pus from the eyes.
- Redness of the eyes.
- Swelling of the eyelids.

Diagnosis
  • Microscopic examination of discharge.
  • Culture from possible infected sites.
Treatment

Antibiotics by mouth or in the form of injections.

Complications

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) - This is caused by infection spreading into the uterus and Fallopian tubes. It may result in infertility.

Symptoms

- Lower abdominal pain
- Backache.
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Low grade fever.

Bartholins abscess - This is an infection of the Bartholins gland

Symptoms:

- Painful abscess at the lower third of the labia.

Cystitis - this is an infection of the bladder.

Symptoms:

- Frequent urination.
- Painful urination.
- Blood in the urine.

Prostatitis - This is an infection of the prostate gland.

Symptoms:

- Fever.
- Burning urination.
- Frequent urination.
- Urgency of urination.
- Pain in  the area between the anus and the scrotum.

Epididymitis - This is an infection of thesperm collecting tubes. Infertility may result.

Symptoms:

- Pain and swelling of the testis.

Urethral stricture - This is the narrowing of the urethra caused by scarring.

Symptoms:

- Difficult urination.
- Poor stream.
- Dribbling.

Disseminated gonococcal infection - This is a blood borne infection. It is more common in women.

Symptoms:

- Fever.
- Arthritis (painful swollen joints).
- Endocarditis (heart valve inflammation).
- Meningitis (inflammation of the brains covering).

Scarring and blindness - This may result from gonococcal conjuctivitis (eye infection).

Comments

A strain known as penicillinase producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PPNG) found in the Far East and Africa is completely resistant to penicillin and some common antibiotics. Other antibiotics are required. Some men  contract gonorrhoea and NSU at the same time (see non-specific genital infection).