Gonorrhea: Treatment & Home Remedies

Overview

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women. Gonorrhea mostly often affects the urethra, rectum and throat and it can also infect the cervix. If it is not treated, gonorrhea may spread to joints or heart valves.

Gonorrhea is a very common infection, especially among young people at the age of 15-24. Babies can be infected during childbirth if their mothers are infected.

Causes & Risk factors

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. People can be infected in several ways, including:

  • Vaginal, oral, or anal sex. (It can be spread even though there are no symptoms.)
  • Contact with an infected area on another person.
  • Childbirth from a mother to her baby.

This kind of bacterium cannot live for more than a few seconds outside the body, so you won’t get infected by touching objects like toilet seats or clothes. In addition, if a mother with gonorrhea chooses C-section, her baby won’t be infected.

Other factors that can increase the risk of getting infected include:

  • A new sex partner
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Previous gonorrhea diagnosis
  • Having other sexually transmitted infections

Symptoms

In many cases, gonorrhea infection causes no symptoms. If it causes symptoms, symptoms can occur in many parts of the body, but the most common part is the genital tract.

Gonorrhea infection in the genital tract:

In men

  • Painful urination
  • Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Pain or swelling in one testicle

In women

  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, such as after vaginal intercourse
  • Painful intercourse
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain

Gonorrhea infection at other parts of the body:

Rectum

  • Anal itching
  • Pus-like discharge from the rectum
  • Spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue
  • Having to strain during bowel movements

Eyes

  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pus-like discharge from one or both eyes

Throat

  • A sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Joints

The joints become warm, red, swollen and extremely painful.

Diagnosis

There are two tests for gonorrhea:

  • A urine test (NAAT). (It’s the most common one.)
  • A swab test. Doctors take a sample from an infected place (cervix, rectum, or throat) and send it to a lab.

Treatment

Generally, doctors will use antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a combination of the antibiotic ceftriaxone (given as an injection) with orally azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended.

Your sexual partner should get tests too. If your partner is also infected, both of you should be treated otherwise you can be reinfected.

Babies can be treated with antibiotics if they are infected and have symptoms on eyes.

Complications

If gonorrhea is not treated in time, it may cause many severe problems, including:

  • Infertility.
  • Infection spreading to the joints and other areas of your body.
  • A higher risk of getting AIDS.
  • Infecting babies.

Home Remedies

Some tips can be helpful to relieve the symptoms and lower the risk of getting gonorrhea.

  • Use condoms.
  • Have regular gonorrhea screening.
  • Let your sexual partners get tests.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners.
  • Avoid douching.
  • Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs.

Please consult your doctors for details.

Keywords: gonorrhea; sexually transmitted infection; STI.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.