Gonorrhoea is caused due to sexual contact (oral, genital or anal) with a person who has the infection. Read on to know more about the expected duration of gonorrhoea.
Gonorrhoea symptoms start about 2 to 10 days after exposure to infection (that is sexual contact with an infected person). However, in some the symptoms can start as late as 30 days after sexual contact. Many people with the infection do not have any symptoms but they can transmit the infection and remain contagious until they have been treated.
Gonorrhoea can be cured by treatment with antibiotics. Treatment is effective for curing the infection but any permanent damage due to the infection such as damage the fallopian tubes in women and scarring inside the urethra in men is not reversed or repaired with antibiotic treatment. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding all the medications. Sexual contact should be avoided while you are being treated for gonorrhoea. If you are given a single dose of medicine, avoid sexual contact for 7 days after treatment as it needs about a week to clear the infection.
If the infection is not treated, it can spread into other parts of the reproductive tract and cause various complications in men and women. In women pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the commonest complication of untreated gonorrhoea. In men untreated gonorrhoea can cause epididymitis (painful condition of the testicles) and even lead to infertility if it is not treated appropriately. In rare cases if the infection is not treated it can enter the bloodstream and cause infection of the joints, heart valves, or brain.
If you have gonorrhoea your sexual partner should also be examined for infection and treated, otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sexual partners have to be treated to prevent passing of infection back and forth. Remember that getting infected and cured with gonorrhoea does not protect you from getting it again. If your sexual partner is not treated then you are likely to get re-infected.
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