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What Kind Of Disease is Gonorrhea?

What Kind Of Disease is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a type of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). The pathological agent responsible is the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It affects both males and females with a number of symptoms. In common language it is commonly referred to as ‘The Clap’. The source or reservoir of the disease is an already infected individual. The causative bacterium is also responsible for diseases like Cervicitis, Salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes), PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and Neonatal Conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the Conjunctiva in newborns). Gonorrhea is quite common all around the world, although easily treatable, but can lead to dreadful complications.

What Kind Of Disease is Gonorrhea?

Cause and Mode of Transmission

The disease is caused when a non-infected individual has sexual contact or intercourse (anal, vaginal and oral) with an infected individual. The illness agent is transferred in the vaginal discharge, semen, and saliva. People with multiple sexual partners and males having intercourse are at an increased risk to catch the disease. The disease also shows the pattern of Vertical Transmission i.e. it can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her unborn child as the bacteria passes through the placenta into the fetal bloodstream, this transmission usually occurs during parturition (the process of delivery).

Symptoms Produced in Gonorrhea

The disease primarily affects the genital region of both men and women producing various symptoms.

Symptoms produced in men are:

  • Inflammation of the genital tract (involving the testes leading to testicular pain)
  • Burning and Painful Micturition (Due to Inflamed urethra)
  • Inflammation of the rectum (normally seen in man having coitus with man) – there may be even bleeding in rare cases.
  • Itching sensation in the anal region.
  • Discharge is quite common, it occurs from the penis.
  • The disease when left untreated spreads causing Pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx), conjunctivitis, pain in the eyes and a fewer times vegetation’s on the heart valves that can progress to infective endocarditis.
  • Inflamed joints

Symptoms seen in women are quite complicated. Although many times in almost 45 to 50% of the cases do not present with any symptoms and are generally diagnosed pretty late during the course of the disease. While the other females present with these symptoms:

  • Typically a white, creamy colored discharge or even green at times is seen in the vagina.
  • Burning and Painful Micturition (Due to Inflamed urethra)
  • Irregular Bleeding might occur from the vagina
  • Abnormal menstrual period
  • Performing coitus causes pain
  • Cervix is inflamed
  • Pain in the lower part of the abdomen
  • Inflamed Joints
  • Pharyngitis
  • Eye Manifestations – Like pain, redness, swelling, discharge
  • In some cases it may even lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

The disease’ symptoms usually resolve upon taking medication, but failing to do so may lead to cardiac defects and infertility in severe conditions. Men diagnosed with gonorrhea are prone to prostate cancer later in life. Meningitis is rarest of the complication which occurs in infected individuals who are severely immunocompromised.

  • People at Risks and Strategies to Prevent Gonorrhea.
  • People with history of having sexual intercourse with multiple individuals.
  • People infected with the disease having unprotected coitus with other people.
  • Newborn Child born to an already disease diagnosed mother.
  • Gay people – Man having intercourse with man.
  • Bisexuals.

The aforementioned human beings run a higher risk of spreading and getting exposed by gonorrhea. There are various means of protection available to sexually active population. These are:-

  • First and Foremost being the usage of condom. This latex sheath protects one from all forms of STDs, provided it has been used in a proper manner.
  • Avoid having sex when diagnosed with the disease.
  • Monogamous Relationship – Only one sexual partner.
  • Thorough testing of the partner.
  • Avoid new sexual relationships.
  • These methods will be useful in preventing almost all the STDs known to mankind. After all, Prevention is much better than a cure.

To conclude, the main symptoms are the inflammation of the genital region, which mostly associated with discharge from reproductive organs. At times it may spread to other organs like the eyes and throat. In women, it is known to cause abnormal menses and irregular bleeding or spotting. The disease has certain risk factors like having sexual contact with numerous persons which is easily avoidable. Sexual abstinence of the infected individual is a must to recess the spread of the disease.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Gonorrhea: https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/default.htm
  2. Mayo Clinic – Gonorrhea: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gonorrhea/symptoms-causes/syc-20351774
  3. American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) – Gonorrhea: https://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/gonorrhea/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 4, 2023

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