What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Occurs with complaints from the genitourinary system, and sometimes from other organs. It is also known as gonorrhea and gonorrhea.
How does infection occur?
The bacterium is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person through sexual contact (anal, vaginal, or oro-vaginal), and sometimes through the household route – using shared towels and towels. The source of infection is patients with severe or milder symptoms, as well as without complaints.
Gonococci have an affinity for the columnar epithelium of the cervix and urethra. They easily penetrate into the epididymis, prostate gland, ovaries and rectum. After an incubation period of 3 to 10 days, they cause an inflammatory process.
Gonorrhea occurs with characteristic complaints in men, women, and children:
a. Gonorrhea in humans
Infection of men occurs mainly through sexual contact. Approximately a week later, complaints of gonococcal urethritis appeared. Often there is a mixed infection with gonococci, chlamydia, and Trichomonas.
There are two types of gonococcal urethritis in men – acute and chronic. In acute cases, symptoms appear suddenly and include itching, burning, pain when urinating, discoloration of the urine, and discharge of a mucous fluid from the urethra, which becomes thick and green after a few days. The bacterial agent quickly spreads to the back of the urethra and involves it in the inflammatory process.
Sometimes the gonococcus penetrates into the paraurethral glands, where it can remain “hidden and invulnerable” for a long time for treatment.
With a duration of gonorrhea for more than two months, urethritis is called chronic. Complaints are the same as in acute, but much less pronounced. Discharge from the urethra is condemned – drop by drop only in the morning. The man calms down, thinking that he is healthy, and continues the sexual act, spreading the disease.
Lack of treatment leads to later complications. Some of them are inflammation of the cavernous bodies, prostate, seminal vesicles and epididymis, as well as narrowing of the urethra.
b. Gonorrhea in a woman
Often women do not make any complaints. The surest sign of asymptomatic gonorrhea in this case is urethritis in a partner. The clinical picture of gonorrhea consists of burning and itching in the urethra and a thick, yellow-green discharge from the vagina. Many women suffering from “white discharge” (of unknown origin) do not pay attention to their new symptoms. This is a great opportunity for gonococci to spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and inflame them. Gonococci, due to “blockage” of the tubes, are one of the causes of infertility.
As in men, gonococcus penetrates into the paraurethral glands and remains there for a long time without responding to antibiotic therapy. This is one of the reasons for the frequent recurrence of infection after adequate treatment.
c) Gonococci in children
In childhood, gonococci have two manifestations – conjunctivitis and vulvovaginitis. Gonococcus develops more easily on the stratified squamous epithelium of the child’s vagina due to a lack of glycogen, which in mature women breaks down to lactic acid, the environment becomes acidic and unfavorable for pathogens.
Conjunctivitis occurs 2–5 days after birth. Infection occurs when the child passes through the birth canal of the mother. Gonococcus enters the mucous membrane of the eye, and a rapid inflammatory process develops with redness, swelling, and sticking of the eyelids. If treatment is not carried out, the child may lose sight. To prevent this complication, all newborns undergo mandatory prophylaxis with a silver solution immediately after birth.
Vulvovaginitis most commonly affects girls between the ages of 5 and 10. Infection occurs through sharing towels or sleeping in the same bed with an ill mother or sister. Complaints of itching, burning during urination, and thick greenish discharge from the vagina.