Unfortunately, even today, when medicine has reached the highest level of development, it is not possible to completely defeat sexually transmitted diseases. One of the most common diseases is gonorrhea or gonorrhea.
The greatest danger is gonorrhea in women: its symptoms do not appear for a long time, and therefore the lady is easily able to transmit the virus to her partner. Therefore, the primacy among the sources of infection belongs to the weaker sex. Since the disease is socially dangerous, treatment is mandatory, and both sexual partners must undergo therapy.
Features of the disease
Gonorrhea is a disease most often transmitted through unprotected sex. It is caused by the gonococcal bacterium Neisseria . gonorrhoeae . The infection got its name from the Greek term for “semen expiration”, since its main external symptom is a light yellow discharge from the urethra, resembling semen in appearance.
IMPORTANT! Therapy of the disease should begin immediately after the appearance of the first symptoms, otherwise it will become chronic and cause infertility.
The main route of transmission of the infection is sexual contact of all kinds. Partners who prefer traditional vaginal contact and lovers of anal sex have the greatest chance of becoming infected. Less often, the transmission of cocci occurs with oral sex or kissing. Another way of infection is household, when cocci are transmitted through common household items or a joint bed of mother and child, non-observance of personal hygiene rules. This possibility of infection is the rarest, but it has not yet been completely eliminated. Also, microorganisms are easily transmitted to a newborn baby during natural delivery, usually affecting the eyes of the crumbs, causing gonorrheal conjunctivitis.
Gonococci are extremely resistant to low temperatures and are able to “survive” even when frozen. But heating them to 57 degrees contributes to death: boiling water kills the virus instantly. Microorganisms do not live in an open environment: when dried, the vital processes in the cells stop.
IMPORTANT! Gonorrhea is an extremely contagious infection: more than 70% of patients acquired it after a single unprotected contact. In rare cases (less than 20%), the pathogen is detected independently, in other patients it is complicated by trichomoniasis and chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is most commonly diagnosed in women who:
- engage in prostitution;
- lead an active and promiscuous intimate life;
- have already suffered from this disease;
- suffer from infectious diseases of the genitourinary system;
- they are expecting a baby (weakened immunity during pregnancy contributes to infection);
- lead an antisocial lifestyle.
According to how gonorrhea manifests itself in women, it is divided into fresh, if the virus entered the body less than two months ago, and chronic – after two months. This form is divided into:
Microorganisms spread very quickly through the internal organs, therefore they are able to infect nearby systems. Such a disease is called ascending, as it leads to endometritis – inflammation of the components of the reproductive system.
The incubation period ranges from three days to three weeks. Therefore, the first signs of gonorrhea in women can appear both after 5-6 days, and after a couple of weeks. Why is the incubation period different? It all depends on the strength of the patient’s immunity: if a lady leads an unhealthy lifestyle, is fond of alcohol or smokes, suffers from chronic pathologies, then the defenses will not be able to restrain the growth of cocci for a long time, so the symptoms will begin to appear very quickly.
In some patients, manifestations occur after a couple of days, and this is facilitated by:
- recent serious infectious diseases;
- long-term use of hormonal drugs;
- undergoing a course of chemotherapy.
A strong immune system or taking antibiotics just before the virus enters (an attempt to cure gonorrhea or fight other infectious processes on your own) can increase incubation. A long asymptomatic period results in negative consequences for the patient: symptoms are absent or mild, which leads to late seeking medical help.
The symptoms of the disease in the fair sex are associated with the internal organ that was the first to take the blow of the pathogens. If the penetration of cocci occurred vaginally, then the girl’s cervical canal (cervix) first suffers. Having overcome this obstacle, the virus enters the uterine cavity, and from there moves to the fallopian tubes and ovaries. If the bacteria have overcome the cavity of the main reproductive organ of the patient, they can also affect the mucous membrane of the peritoneum.
To damage the rectal mucosa, the virus does not need to “wait” for anal intercourse. If the discharge from the urethra of a man containing harmful cells, in the process of caresses or along with sperm, got into the anus area, then microorganisms will quickly “conquer” this organ as well. Another common consequence of gonorrhea is gonorrheal pharyngitis. It develops as a result of oral caresses of partners.
The most striking sign of the disease is the discharge, which in women with gonorrhea has a light yellow or white color, is distinguished by a viscous composition and has a sharp, unpleasant odor. Most patients confuse such whites with manifestations of candidiasis, and begin treatment, which turns into negative consequences. Medications help little, change the clinical picture and allow the disease to progress. Secondary signs depend on the disease provoked by the infection.
- Cervicitis – discomfort, burning and itching in the vulva and perineum. On examination, the gynecologist will find redness of the cervical canal, its slight swelling, the presence of whitish discharge from it.
- Inflammation of the appendages. After the defeat of the mucous membrane of the uterus, the virus “gets” to the ovaries. This causes a pulling (rarely sharp) pain in the groin. Not white, but brown leucorrhoea (evidence of pus) containing drops of blood may stand out. Also, the lady feels weak, the temperature rises to 39 degrees, nausea, vomiting begins, appetite disappears. Another sign of ovarian inflammation is pain during sexual intercourse.
- Inflammation of the components of the urinary system (urethra, bladder, kidneys). With them, there is an urge to urinate, often false or with a small amount of urine. At the same time, they are accompanied by pain, cramps, burning sensations. The urethra itself swells, and when probing, the patient feels pain.
- Proctitis is a lesion of the lining of the rectum, which is expressed by itching sensations in the anus, pain during bowel movements and false urge to defecate. The discharge is also yellow, contains drops of blood, but they appear from the anus. Examination by a proctologist determines redness of the mucosa and the presence of pus in the folds of the rectum.
- Pharyngitis caused by a virus, however, is similar to a classic sore throat: the throat hurts, it is difficult to swallow, the lymph nodes in the neck are enlarged, the temperature is high. But such vivid phenomena are rare, most often gonorrheal pharyngitis is expressed by a slight tickling of the larynx, a hoarse voice, or does not manifest itself at all. Only upon examination, the doctor can notice swelling and redness of the throat and tonsils, as well as a gray-yellow coating present on them.
The course of the chronic form
The clinical picture of the chronic form is usually blurred, the main manifestations are mild or absent. As a rule, girls observe rare, slight discharge, feel pain in the lumbar spine, shooting into the lower limbs or lower abdomen. If the complications that the disease threatens also become chronic, additional symptoms may appear.
So, the menstrual cycle becomes long, painful, with heavy bleeding. At the same time, smear marks also appear in the intermenstrual period. Also, during menstruation, relapses of other complications occur – cystitis, proctitis, etc.
IMPORTANT! In most patients, there are no lesions of the vaginal membrane, with the exception of children, adolescents and women expecting a baby: they develop vulvovaginitis .
Complications of the disease
Tripper is not only unpleasant phenomena that violate the usual way of life and force one to abandon intimate life. Its danger lies in the high risk of developing complications that are difficult to regress.
The main ones are:
- bartholinitis – a lesion of the glandular tissue that forms the labia majora and the entrance of the vagina;
- infertility, which occurs as a result of the appearance of adhesions in the fallopian tubes or a violation of the composition of the endometrium;
- lack of attraction to the opposite sex.
Very often, patients are faced with the problem of bearing and giving birth to a child. Infected women also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, which causes partial infertility, less often – the death of the patient. If it was possible to endure and give birth to a baby, the chances that he will live even a day are small. Even infants during natural delivery can also become infected with the virus: eyes (conjunctivitis), ears (otitis media), urogenital tract are affected, sepsis develops.
If a bacterium has penetrated the circulatory system, then its spread throughout the body is a matter of time: having “conquered” each system, the disease will begin to signal with large bruises, destruction of the cartilage tissue of the joints, tissues of the vital components of the human body (kidneys, liver, brain, heart muscles).
If a lady does not follow the rules of personal hygiene, the infection on the hands can easily go to the face, settling in the eyes or mouth.
Before treating gonorrhea in women, it is necessary to identify pathogenic microorganisms. The doctor will make a preliminary diagnosis based on the girl’s complaints and the results of a visual examination, but since the symptoms of gonorrhea are very similar to other pathologies, a laboratory test will put an end to it.
IMPORTANT! Preliminary diagnostics can be carried out at home using express tests sold at pharmacy kiosks.
A mandatory analysis is a smear for microflora from the vagina, cervix, urethra, rectum. It will also be necessary to sow the discharge (leucorrhoea) to determine the sensitivity of the pathogen. The patient ‘s blood and urine are examined by PCR (polymerase chain reaction), urine using enzyme immunoassay (detection of antibodies to the pathogen produced by the body’s defenses). To study the chronic form, the serological method is considered optimal.
If the bacterium is not detected, which may indicate a chronic or latent form, then provocation methods are used:
- chemical method, when the urethra and neck are treated with a solution of silver nitrate;
- biological – intramuscular injection of a special vaccine;
- alimentary – the use of products that provoke an exacerbation (alcohol, pickles, spicy dishes);
- thermal – the performance of special physiotherapy procedures for three days, after which smears are taken;
- physiological – taking smears for menstrual bleeding.
As clinical practice shows, one provocation is not enough to establish a final diagnosis, therefore, at least two methods are used.
Methods of treatment
The basis of the treatment of gonorrhea in women is antibiotic drugs. Moreover, they should be used in conjunction with your other half. For the entire duration of therapy, the refusal of sex and alcoholic beverages is shown. Bacteria are most sensitive to penicillin, cephalosporin, and fluoroquinolones .
At an early stage, a single priming of ” Ceftriaxone ” (tablet or injection), ” Sumamed “, ” Cefixime “, “Azithromycin” or their analogues is enough. The same drugs are used in the ascending form, but the treatment is carried out for at least seven days.
In chronic course, the use of drugs that strengthen the immune system, as well as vaccination against gonorrhea, will be required. If the disease is complicated by additional pathologies, several types of antibiotics will be required.
A prerequisite for treatment is the treatment of the vagina, urethra and anus with antiseptic solutions, the use of local medications that eliminate unpleasant phenomena: suppositories (vaginal and anal), ointments, gels.
Alternative medicine in the fight against gonorrhea is powerless, but folk recipes can act as aids. So, the antiseptic can be replaced with a decoction of chamomile and treated with it not only the genitals, but also the oral and nasal cavities. But such a replacement must be agreed with the attending physician. After recovery, it is necessary to carry out the prevention of re-infection, since a secondary infection is more dangerous to health.