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Gonorrhea Symptoms in Women

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Up to 50% of women experiencing no symptoms at all. Especially in the early stages of the infection.

Those women who do have symptoms may experience the following:

  • Burning sensation when passing urine

  • Frequent urination

  • Yellow or green vaginal discharge

  • Redness or swelling of the vagina

  • Itching or burning of the vagina

  • Bleeding between periods, or after sex

Gonorrhea in Women - The Early Signs and Symptoms

Gonorrhea infection can go unnoticed. This is because gonorrhea may not cause any symptoms at all. Getting tested for gonorrhea is the only sure way to know if you have gonorrhoea.

The earliest sign of gonorrhea in a woman can include abnormal vaginal discharge and lower abdominal pain. This may be accompanied by symptoms such as pain or burning sensation when passing urine.

Thrush (Candidiasis) or Gonorrhea?

Sometimes vaginal discharge can look watery, creamy coloured e.g yellow or green and sometimes, even bloody.

Unusual vaginal discharge may cause women to confuse gonorrhea for thrush.

You can treat thrush with over the counter medication. If the treatment cream or oral medication has failed for thrush, it is worth getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

What happens if Gonorrhea is left untreated?

Gonorrhea is treated with oral antibiotic treatment or injection.

Untreated Gonorrhea in women can cause severe inflammation of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This inflammation is also referred to as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which affects up to 40% of women with Gonorrhea.

Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Gonorrhea infection and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may include following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Pelvic cramping or abdominal pain

  • Pain when having sexual intercourse

  • Difficulty getting pregnant

  • Tubal damage or blockage of fallopian tubes

Severe infections of Gonorrhea can be life threatening or fatal.

How is Gonorrhea Diagnosed in Women?

Testing for gonorrhea is usually carried out at a sexual health clinic. You can also use a home test kit for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In women testing for gonorrhea involves swabbing the vagina, rectum, cervix or throat. The swab is then sent to a laboratory. The sample is tested to identify if the gonorrhea bacteria is present in the sample.

Gonorrhea in Pregnancy

If you think you have gonorrhea and you are pregnant then you should get tested and treated.

Antibiotics for gonorrhea can be used in pregnancy. However it is best to see your local doctor to discuss the treatment first. It is important to get treated as soon as possible if you are pregnant and have gonorrhea. Gonorrhea in pregnancy can contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage.

Gonorrhea in Babies

You can pass on gonorrhea to your baby during labour if left untreated. Newborn babies infected with gonorrhea are predisposed to eye infections. Eye infections are treated with medicated eye drops or ointments after birth and antibiotics too. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about treatment or possible infection.

If a newborn baby is not treated, gonorrhoea can cause blindness. Along with other health problems such as meningitis, blood or joint infections.

Treatment of Gonorrhea

Before gonorrhea was commonly treated with penicillin, and this usually cured gonorrhea symptoms. However recently there are new strains of gonorrhea (super gonorrhea) that do not respond to a course of penicillin antibiotics.

Gonorrhea treatment now includes either an injection or oral antibiotics called Cefixime (Suprax). Cefixime is 95% effective at curing gonorrhea symptoms.