Gonorrhoea is a treatable sexually transmitted disease but if left untreated, it can cause serious health problems such as infertility, meningitis and septicaemia. It is currently a major public health concern in both industrialised and developing countries. According to estimates millions of new cases of gonorrhoea occur worldwide.
The prognosis of gonorrhoea is influenced by correct diagnosis and treatment. Gonorrhoea responds well to treatment. Your doctor after examination and tests will decide on whether you need oral or parenteral antibiotics. If gonorrhoea infections are not treated, the bacteria can spread into other parts of the reproductive tract and cause various complications.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the commonest complication of untreated gonorrhoea in women. This is a serious infection of the female reproductive tract as it can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes. Scarring of the fallopian tubes can cause infertility or result in tubal (ectopic) pregnancy.
Complications of gonorrhoea in pregnant woman: Untreated gonorrhoea in pregnancy increases the risk of:
Experts recommend that all pregnant women should be screened at least once for gonorrhoea as a part of prenatal care because of the risks associated with gonococcal infection for the mother and the baby.
Untreated gonorrhoea can cause epididymitis (this is a painful condition of the testicles). It can cause infertility if not treated appropriately. If the prostate is affected, it can lead to scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult.
Other Complications Associated with Gonorrhoea
Rarely the infection can enter the bloodstream and cause infection of the joints, heart valves, or brain. Infection with gonorrhoea similar to other sexually transmitted diseases increases your risk of getting HIV infection (HIV or human immunodeficiency virus causes AIDS).
Gonorrhoea can be cured with antibiotics and is preventable. Hence, it is important to know of measures to prevent gonorrhoea and get treated if you are already infected with the disease.
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