If you think you are suffering from Gonorrhea symptoms, you need to consult your GP or get down to your local GUM clinic (sexual health clinic) as soon as possible. Don't engage in any sexual contact until you have seen your doctor and received treatment, if necessary. Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, referred to in slang as ‘the Clap', which can cause serious and unpleasant complications in the body if left untreated - this includes infertility in women and infections of the testicles and prostate gland in men. Pregnant women can pass this STD on to their babies, which, if not identified and treated, can cause blindness in babies and infants.
At the STI clinic, your doctor will use a swab to take a sample from your genitals (the cervix in the case of women). The sample will then be sent off to a laboratory for testing. If the results come back positive and you are diagnosed with Gonorrhea, you'll be treated with antibiotics, usually given either as an injection or as a single tablet. Antibiotics used to treat Gonorrhea include ceftriaxone, cefiximine and spectinomycin.
Unfortunately, doctors are reporting an increase in the number of Gonorrhea infections they treat which are resistant to certain commonly used antibiotics. For this reason, antibiotics such as penicillin may not be recommended. However, if your tests show that your particular Gonorrhea infection is likely to respond to penicillin, your doctor may try using this antibiotic first.
Your Gonorrhea symptoms should begin to improve within three days of receiving the antibiotics. Your doctor will tell you to come back after this period so he or she can check whether or not the treatment has worked. You should see a decrease in the pain and discharge in the area of your anus and when you urinate. Women should find that by the time their next period arrives, heavy bleeding and bleeding in between periods should have decreased. Men who may have pain in their pelvis and testicles should find that it subsides, although it could take up to two weeks for the pain to disappear completely.
Sex During Treatment
Sexual contact during treatment or before your doctor has given you the all clear is not advised. There is a high chance that you will infect your partner with Gonorrhea if you have penetrative sex or indeed any sexual contact before you are cured.
Babies born to mothers suffering from Gonorrhea will be given treatment for the condition whether or not they have any symptoms. The main aim of the treatment is to protect the babies' eyes. Shortly after birth, medication will administered into a baby's eyes to stop him or her becoming infected. If an infection develops nevertheless, the baby will be put on antibiotics. A pregnant mother who is suffering from STD symptoms must seek medical advice immediately.
Many people who become reinfected with Gonorrhea after successful treatment do so because their sexual partners also have the infection but did not receive treatment at the same time. You need to speak to your partner about your diagnosis and send him or her for testing and treatment. Untreated Gonorrhea can lead to long-term, serious illness. If you are reluctant to personally warn past sexual partners that they may have been exposed to Gonorrhea, you can ask your GUM clinic to send them a ‘contact slip', which is a letter advising of the need to go for testing and treatment.