Gonorrhea is an infectious, sexually transmitted disease of the reproductive organs. It involves the urethra in males and females (the tube leading from bladder to outside of body) and reproductive system in females. In both sexes, the rectum, throat, joints, and eyes sometimes involved. The peak incidence for this disorder to occur is between ages 20 and 30, although any age can contract the disease. Following exposure to the disease, symptoms usually occur from 2-10 days later. This infection is at epidemic levels in the U.S. Infection may involve the eye through localized contact with the infectious agent. It can lead to conjunctivitis.
Causes of Gonorrhea
Cause is due to the gonococcus bacteria. This bacteria grow well on delicate, moist tissue. The bacteria is usually transmitted sexually. Some cases are of unknown origin. The infection may be transmitted by sexual activity involving the genitals, the rectum or mouth from either partner.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea
The symptoms of gonorrhea vary somewhat between men and women. They are often more obvious in men, and more frequently overlooked in women. Women frequently have no symptoms. They may have a discharge from the urethra or painful sexual intercourse. However, many will not develop symptoms until the disorder has progressed. Males, on the other hand, usually have more pronounced symptoms early on. including painful, burning urination and thick green-yellow discharge from the penis. Fever may occur. If the disease affects the rectum, there may be painful bowel movements and rectal discharge. If the disease affects the throat, sore throat may develop. Later stages of the disorder may produce painful joints and rash. Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pain may be a manifestation of pelvic inflammatory disease in women. One of the causes of this is gonorrhea infection. Infection of the eye leads to conjunctivitis. This can produce a red, painful eye. There is drainage from the eye.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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