Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that is highly contagious, and is also referred to as the clap. The clap was coined in reference to a treatment used earlier to clear a blockage caused by gonorrhea pus, and is present in the urethra. In this treatment, the penis is “clapped” simultaneously on both sides, thus the nickname the clap. As described in the treatment process, gonorrhea is characteristically marked by a thick discharge from the penis or even from the vagina. But what are the symptoms of gonorrhea.
It is not uncommon for gonorrhea to have no symptoms or signs, especially in women, at a certain period in time. This period, called the incubation period, usually lasts for 2 to 14 days. This is because gonorrhea usually does not develop or cause symptoms until other areas of the body have already been infected.
Symptoms in Women
Women usually have mild symptoms, so mild in fact that they are usually mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Other symptoms are painful and/or frequent urination. Women with gonorrhea may also experience anal itching with pain, bleeding, or discharge. Others also have signs of an abnormal vaginal discharge. And sometimes, an abnormal vaginal bleeding may be experienced during or after sex, or even between periods. There is also genital itching present and an irregular menstrual bleeding is also not uncommon in women with gonorrhea.
Other symptoms of gonorrhea in women include a lower abdominal or belly pain. There are also signs of general tiredness and fever for those infected. Bartholin glands, or glands at the opening of the vagina, also become inevitably painful and swollen. This leads to a rather painful sexual intercourse. Rare symptoms of sore throat and pinkeye or conjunctivitis are also observable.
Symptoms in Men
Men with gonorrhea have symptoms usually more obvious than those symptoms found in women. The symptoms become observable enough, allowing men to seek an early medical treatment prior to any complications that may occur. However, there are still men that have mild or even no symptoms at all.
The usual symptoms of gonorrhea in men are an abnormal discharge from the penis, and a painful and/or frequent urination. The discharge in men is characteristically and initially clear or milky. Then the discharge turns to yellow and creamy, and sometimes becoming excessive and blood-tinged. Aside from the discharge and painful or frequent urination, there is also an anal itching that comes with pain, bleeding or any discharge. Men may also experience rare symptoms of sore throat and pinkeye.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea that has Spread
When the infection has spread to other parts of the body, symptoms of gonorrhea will already include rashes, arthritis or joint pains, and inflamed tendons.