Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Infections
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are sexually transmitted infections that cause serious problems, if left untreated. Caused by bacteria, the contagious diseases are easily transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact, whether through anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Teenagers and young women are more vulnerable to Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, which may occur in the rectum, cervix and urethra, mouth, or reproductive organs.
In almost 80 percent women, symptoms don’t show up in the initial stages. Chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms may occur within two days or take three weeks after the infection has set in. Often the symptoms are confused with those of urinary tract infection. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Frequent urination, which is often painful
- Whitish, yellowish vaginal discharge
- Rectal discharge, bleeding, often accompanied by pain
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Spotting after intercourse
- Swelling of vulva
- Burning in throat during oral sex
- Pelvic/abdominal pain
Gonorrhea may spread from sexual contact or through contact with infected body fluids, such as urine, blood, and semen. An infected mother can pass the infection to her newborn child at the time of birth. The disease often infects people who have had multiple sex partners. Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium that can grow in the mucus membranes or warm moist parts of the reproductive tract, such as uterus, cervix, urethra, or fallopian tubes.
Sexual contact is not limited to sexual intercourse; it also includes oral-genital contact, kissing, and use of sex toys.
You can minimize risk by:
- Limiting number of sex partners
- Using condoms during intercourse
- Getting screened for Chlamydia and gonorrhea as part of your annual medical examination
If left untreated, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause serious infection in the form of pelvic inflammatory disease, which risks damaging the reproductive system of the infected female. This can raise the risk of ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Treatment
Both sexually transmitted diseases can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of antibiotics if you test positive for these diseases to treat both infections simultaneously. It is also important that your sex partner gets diagnosed for the same and receives treatment to prevent you from getting re-infected. It is advised to practice abstinence from all sexual contact for at least a week of completing the treatment course. Using condoms will help you avoid picking any sexual transmitted infections from your partner. If symptoms re-occur even after treatment, it is important to consult your health care provider.