Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

November 12, 2012

Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

As two of the most common STI’s, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are often grouped together and often co-exist together.

Who does Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea affect?

Chlamydia, in most cases present itself first and I thought to affect 3-4 million people every year. Gonorrhoea in most reported cases occurs following an individual being infected with Chlamydia. There are over 700,000 reports of new infections of gonorrhoea each year. Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can affect both men and women. Once infected, it increases the likelihood of a number of different conditions and diseases. Any kinds of sexual contact can cause both of these infections to be transmitted from an individual already infected to their sexual partner. This includes anal and oral contact. Additionally, both Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can be transmitted to a baby from its mother during vaginal delivery. Gonorrhoea is not only an infection that affects the genital region but with contact the mouth, eyes and throat can also be infected.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms that arise can vary quite dramatically from person to person. Some people will experience symptoms of both of these sexually transmitted bacterial infections, while others will experience symptoms of one of the others and some will not be aware of any. The more common symptoms of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea that are experienced by women include:

  • Irregular bleeding or spotting

  • Unusual vaginal discharge

  • A burning or painful sensation whilst urinating

  • Vaginal burning

  • Pelvic pain

Complications of these symptoms that can occur if they go ignored or untreated include pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. The most common symptoms of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea experienced by men include:

  • Burning during urination

  • Unusual discharge from the penis

The symptoms in men are generally much milder than in women and are also more likely to disappear without the need for treatment. Despite this, treatment should still be sought, as even though the symptoms may no longer be present, it is likely that the underlying infection still is. Complications in men include an increased risk of other infections such as testicular and prostate infections.

Diagnosing Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

A diagnosis is usually possible by testing cell samples taken from the affected area. In some cases the bacteria will also be present in a urine sample. It is generally recommended that both men and women who are sexually active should undergo routine tests, not only for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea but also for a wide range of STD’s including HIV and syphilis. Treatment for these infections is usually a dose of antibiotics that should be taken by both the tested individual and their partner and sexual contact should be avoided until 7 days after both partners have completed the course of antibiotics. Safe sex practices as well as limiting the number of sexual partners can help to prevent becoming infected with Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

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