Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Neisseriagonorrhoeae bacteria. It is transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact, including oral, anal or vaginal intercourse.
It tends to target warm, moist areas of the body, including the:
Symptoms of gonorrhea
Symptoms usually occur within 2 to 14 days after exposure. However, some people who acquire gonorrhea never develop noticeable symptoms.
It’s important to remember that a person with gonorrhea who doesn’t have symptoms, also called an asymptomatic carrier, can still spread the infection. A person is more likely to transmit gonorrhea to other partners when they don’t have noticeable symptoms.
Symptoms in men and those with a penis
A person with a penis may not develop noticeable symptoms for several weeks. Some men may never develop symptoms.
Typically, symptoms begin to show a week after transmission. The first noticeable symptom in men is often a burning or painful sensation during urination.
As it progresses, other symptoms may include:
In rare instances, gonorrhea can continue to cause damage to the body, specifically the urethra and testicles. The condition will stay in the body for a few weeks after the symptoms have been treated.
Pain may also spread to the rectum.
Symptoms in women and those with a vagina
Many people with a vagina don’t develop any overt symptoms of gonorrhea. When they do develop symptoms, they tend to be mild or similar to other diagnoses, making them more difficult to identify.
Gonorrhea symptoms can appear much like common vaginal yeast or bacterial infections.
Tests for gonorrhoea
Healthcare professionals can diagnose gonorrhea in several ways. They can take a sample of fluid from the symptomatic area (penis, vagina, rectum, or throat) with a swab and place it on a glass slide.
If your doctor suspects a joint infection or infection of the blood, they’ll obtain the sample by drawing blood or inserting a needle into the symptomatic joint to withdraw fluid.
They’ll then add a stain to the sample and examine it under a microscope. If cells react to the stain, gonorrhea may be diagnosed. This method is relatively quick and easy, but it doesn’t provide absolute certainty. This test may also be completed by a lab technician.
A second method involves taking the same type of sample and placing it on a special dish. This will be incubated under ideal growth conditions for several days. A colony of gonorrhea bacteria will grow if gonorrhea is present.
A preliminary result may be ready within 24 hours. A final result will take up to 3 days.
Luckily, gonorrhea can be easily treated. Without treatment, gonorrhea can cause a number of long-term health problems for both women and men.
In men, untreated gonorrhea can lead to epididymitis, an inflammation of the tube that carries sperm. Severe epididymitis can result in infertility.
In women, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which may lead to other complications, such as: infertility, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic abscesses. If you’re pregnant, gonorrhea can be transmitted to your newborn, who may then suffer joint infections, blindness, and blood-related infections. In both men and women, gonorrhea can also enter the bloodstream, and cause a condition called disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI), which in severe cases, can be life-threatening.
Gonorrhoea is usually treated with Ceftriaxone Injection given one time to the buttocks and a single dose of Oral Azithromycin. Once on antibiotics, you should feel relief within days.
2. Natural Remedies
Several natural remedies have been used for centuries to treat this STI. Here are some of the home remedies for gonorrhoea.
Because of its antibacterial properties, garlic is used as a common home remedy for bacterial infections. A 2005 study, which examined the effects of garlic products and extracts on gonorrhea-causing bacteria, found that 47 percent of the products showed antimicrobial activity against the bacteria. However, this study was done in a laboratory setting, not on humans with gonorrhoea.
- Apple cider vinegar
It is one of the most popular natural gonorrhoea remedies. Apple cider vinegar can be taken orally or applied topically as a solution. The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar may help you, but be careful it’s also highly acidic, which can irritate the delicate tissues of your genitals. Also, no study has supported or refuted these claims.
Goldenseal plant, also known as berberine or Hydrastis canadensis L., is a known for its antimicrobial properties. This was used as a treatment for gonorrhea by European settlers in the 1800s. Some studies have examined goldenseal as an alternative to antibiotics to treat resistant staph bacteria, but there isn’t any significant research about goldenseal to treat gonorrhea.
You can get goldenseal in capsule form for ingestion and also as creams for topical use. Before taking the capsule, consult a doctor or trained herbalist for the right dosage.
The anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea or coneflower hand may help reduce inflammation in the sexual organs, including gonorrhoea. Available in the form of gels or creams, its topical application is known to help ease skin problems and soothe irritation. Taking echinacea extract has been shown to stimulate the immune system as well.
- Aloe Vera
The cooling effect of aloe vera gel may benefit anyone with an STD. This powerful herb can hydrate your skin and speed up the wound healing process. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. You can use it as a gel and drink its juice to get the benefit.
The best way to avoid contracting gonorrheaor any other STDs is to always use a condom during sex. If you know your partner has an STD, it is better to avoid sexual intercourse altogether until it is treated.
Written by: Ore Okubukunola