How long it takes for STD symptoms to appear or show up on a Test?

STD Testing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a common occurrence across the globe, particularly in developing countries such as Ghana. The public stigma associated with getting tested leaves sexually active people at high risk of developing some STD or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. Sexually active men and women should get tested at least once a year and even frequently, so if they have multiple partners. Most people wonder how long it takes for symptoms of STD to show up or when they get detected through testing, and we are about to provide the answers. Read on to learn more.

How long it takes for STD to show up?

At first glance, it may seem logical that as soon as STD-causing bacteria (or virus) enter the body, you can get a test that would detect it. However, the processing route is more complicated than that. Generally speaking, we get infected when bacteria or other pathogens enter our bodies. Every infection has its own timeframe for susceptibility or incubation time, and STDs are not the exception.

For some STDs, the body starts producing antibodies to counteract infection and develops symptoms in a matter of a few days, but for others, it may take up to several months for the first signs to appear. Below, you can see the incubation period for various STDs:

  • Chlamydia – 7-21 days
  • Genital herpes – 2-12 days
  • Gonorrhea – 1-14 days
  • Syphilis – 3 weeks – 20 years depending on the type
  • Oral herpes – 2-12 days
  • Trichomoniasis – 5-28 days

During the incubation period, a person may not experience symptoms at all. Bear in mind that some people don’t develop any symptoms at all. So, if you’re in a high-risk group of developing some STD, it’s a good idea to get tested, but not too early as you may test negative i.e., the STD might not be detected. Wait for the incubation period to end or consult a doctor who will advise you regarding the right time to get tested.

When to get retested?

People with some STDs may need to get retested after a while to make sure their infection has been cured completely. Some patients don’t need to get retested, though. Here are a few examples:

  • Chlamydia – 3 months
  • Genital and oral herpes – no retesting necessary (lifelong infections)
  • Gonorrhea – 3 months
  • Syphilis – 4 weeks
  • Trichomoniasis – 2 weeks

Why get tested?

Most people underestimate the importance of getting tested. The danger of STDs is that they don’t always induce symptoms, and it’s easy to spread them to sex partners. When left untreated, they can cause a number of complications. Therefore, make sure to get tested and protect your health, general wellbeing, and partner. Nowadays, it’s easy to learn whether you have STD because it’s possible to get tests online and do the whole thing in the comfort of your home.

Every type of STD has its own incubation time during which people usually don’t notice any symptoms. Testing too early could yield negative results even if the person has STD, so test at an appropriate time if you suspect to have some sexually-transmitted disease. Or even better, get tested for STD once a year and even more frequently if you have multiple sex partners.

References

https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/how-long-should-i-wait-test-std/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/how-soon-do-sti-symptoms-appear/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-std-to-show-up

Common STDs and How to Recognize Them

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are conditions passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Millions of people around the globe have STDs, especially in developing countries, including Ghana and other African nations. Prevention of STDs is entirely possible, but to make it happen, we need to get informed and learn as much as we can about them. The main purpose of this post is to highlight common STDs and show you how to recognize their symptoms.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common STD caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus is categorized into two types: HSV-1, which is mainly transmitted through oral-to-oral contact, usually causing cold sores, but can also induce genital herpes and HSV-2, which is an STD.

How common is genital herpes?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, or 67% of the world population, have HSV-1 infection. About 417 million people aged 15-49, or 11% of the world population, have HSV-2 infection. Estimates show that 350 million women (87%) and 355 million men (87%) in Africa have HSV-1 virus. On the other hand, the HSV-2 virus affects 17 million women in 18 million men in Africa.

Evidence confirms that the prevalence of genital herpes in Ghana is high, and it could be attributed to high endemicity and inadequate intervention, especially in women.

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing genital herpes?

Generally speaking, every sexually active man or woman can develop genital herpes. That being said, some people are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors associated with genital herpes include:

  • Having unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having a sexual partner who tested positive for genital herpes
  • Being a woman

Symptoms of genital herpes

The ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of some STD helps an affected man or woman to get much-needed treatment. That’s why it’s important to learn how to recognize symptoms of genital herpes, particularly because most people are not even aware they have it. In most cases, symptoms are mild, and patients think they will go away on their own without realizing they have an STD, which they can transmit to other people.

Symptoms tend to develop two to 12 days after exposure to HSV. People usually experience:

  • Pain and tenderness in the genital area
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Small red bumps or tiny white blisters
  • Ulcers which can rapture, bleed, ooze, and make it difficult to urinate
  • Scabs on the sites where ulcers rapture

An affected person experiences flu-like symptoms during the initial outbreak. They may also experience headache, muscle ache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin. Sores associated with genital herpes develop on buttocks, thighs, anus, mouth, and even urethra. Women can also develop sores on the cervix and external genitals while men can notice them on scrotum and penis.

Men and women with recurrent herpes develop symptoms about 48 hours before the outbreak. They may notice tingling, pain, and itching at the site of infection. The pain may, in some cases, extend down to buttocks and knees.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Why get treated?

Unfortunately, many men and women don’t go to see their doctor get this STD treated. When left unmanaged, genital herpes can lead to many complications such as increased risk to other STDs, meningitis, proctitis (rectal inflammation), bladder problems, and infection of the newborn.

How is genital herpes treated?

The cure which could eliminate genital herpes entirely doesn’t exist, but it is still possible to get the necessary treatment. The main objective of the treatment is to lower the chances of transmitting genital herpes to other people, reduce the frequency of occurrence, lower severity of symptoms, and help sores heal. For this purpose, doctors prescribe antiviral medications such as Acyclovir (Zovirax) and Valacyclovir (Valtrex).

Getting tested regularly is important, and luckily, today, you can order a test online and do it in the comfort of your home rather than scheduling an appointment at the doctor’s office.

Read More: Genital Herpes Treatment

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which tends to infect moist and warm areas of the body such as urethra, eyes, throat, vagina, anus, and female reproductive tract.

How common is gonorrhea?

Sometimes referred to as “the clap,” gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent STDs. On a global level, 87 million new cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed each year. Like many other STDs, gonorrhea is also more prevalent in developing countries. For example, one study showed that out of 950 subjects from Ghana, 28% of them had gonorrhea, and men were more likely to develop it than women.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing gonorrhea?

Just like with other sexually transmitted diseases, every man or woman who engages in sexual intercourse can develop gonorrhea. But, the risk is higher in some groups. Factors that increase your odds of developing gonorrhea include:

  • Younger age
  • Having a new sex partner
  • History of other sexually transmitted diseases
  • History of gonorrhea
  • Having a sex partner who also has concurrent partners

Symptoms of gonorrhea

Some people have no symptoms at all, but it doesn’t mean there is no infection. The absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected and also able to transmit this STD to other people. Generally speaking, signs and symptoms of gonorrhea develop one to 14 days after the infection. Men and women experience gonorrhea differently, and below you can see how they feel when they develop this STD.

Men tend to experience:

  • Painful, red, warm and swollen joints
  • White, yellow, or green urethral discharge that looks like pus
  • Pain in the eyes, sensitivity to the light, pus-like discharge from the eyes
  • Pain in scrotum or testicles
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Anal discharge, itching, and pain in the anal area bleeding when passing stool

On the flip side, women with gonorrhea may notice:

  • Fever
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swollen, red, warm, and painful joints
  • Vaginal discharge yellow or green in color
  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Sore throat, itching, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Heavier periods
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain and vomiting
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Itching and pain in the anal area

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Why get treated?

As seen above, some men and women may not notice any symptoms at all, but they are still infected. That is why it is crucial to get tested regularly, and home tests could be incredibly practical in this case. Being proactive about sexual health and symptoms of gonorrhea allows you to get the necessary treatment in a timely manner. When left ignored, gonorrhea can cause multiple complications such as infertility, an infection that spreads to other areas and joints in the body, a higher risk of HIV/AIDS, and complications in babies born to infected mothers.

How is gonorrhea treated

The primary route of treatment of gonorrhea is through antibiotics. Partners of infected men and women are also encouraged to get tested in order to prevent transmitting the STD back and forth or to other people.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common, sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women alike. Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, and in this case, that is Chlamydia trachomatis. The STD can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, but it is also possible for pregnant women to spread Chlamydia to their babies during delivery.

How common is Chlamydia?

According to the WHO, about 127 million cases of Chlamydia are diagnosed each year. That is a staggering number. One of the most common reasons behind the ever-growing incidence of Chlamydia, especially in developing nations such as Ghana, is the lack of public awareness. In fact, the prevalence of STDs in Ghana is expected to grow as stigmatization continues. And, as you are already aware, stigmatization occurs due to the absence of the above-mentioned public awareness.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing Chlamydia?

Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing this sexually transmitted disease include:

  • History of some STD
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Changing multiple sex partners in a year
  • Being sexually active before the age of 25

Getting tested regularly can help decrease your risk of developing Chlamydia. Regular tests also raise awareness of this STD, fight stigmatization, and prevent spreading Chlamydia to other people. Besides “traditional” testing at clinics or hospitals, people can also get at-home tests for Chlamydia, which may be practical for those who want more privacy throughout the whole process.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is often considered as “silent” infection because many people have it although they don’t experience any symptoms. But, just like with other STDs, the absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected, and you can transmit it to someone else. Bear in mind that even if Chlamydia doesn’t cause any symptoms, it can still damage the reproductive system. First signs and symptoms tend to occur one to two weeks after the exposure to the bacterium. Men and women tend to experience this STD differently. Below, you can see the signs and symptoms of Chlamydia in men and women.

Men may notice the following:

  • Pain in the testicles
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Green or yellow discharge from the penis

It’s also possible to get the infection in anus. In this case, a man may notice pain, bleeding, and discharge from this area.

On the other hand, women may experience these symptoms:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating

In some cases, the STD can spread to the fallopian tubes.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Why get treated?

Reasons to be proactive about the prevention and treatment of Chlamydia (as well as other STDs) are numerous. Besides lowering the risk of transmitting Chlamydia to someone else, you can also decrease the likelihood of experiencing various complications. When left ignored or unmanaged, Chlamydia can harm your health in more ways than one. Some of the most common complications include increased risk of other STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection near the testicles, infections in newborns, infection of prostate, reactive arthritis, and infertility.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

How is Chlamydia treated?

Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. A patient may receive a one-time dose, or he or she may need to take the drugs a few times a day for five to 10 days, depending on the severity of symptoms. Generally speaking, the infection goes away in one to two weeks. It goes without saying you need to abstain from sex during this time.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum, and it develops in four stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. The bacteria can spread from one person to another through direct contact with a syphilitic sore. Just like other STDs, this one also spreads through sexual contact i.e., vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

How common is syphilis?

The World Health Organization reports that 6.3 million cases of syphilis are recorded each year around the globe. In 2016, the last year for which data is available on a global level, 1 million pregnant women had active syphilis, which led to 350,000 adverse birth outcomes. Of these, 200,000 accounted for stillbirths and neonatal death. In Africa, the prevalence of syphilis is high, especially in males in rural areas. One study of pregnant women showed that the cumulative prevalence of syphilis among 4181 blood donors over a five-year period was 2.58% in Ghana.

Population-based studies show greater prevalence, and scientists point out that the lack of precise information can be correct with further research on this topic. More precise information allows scientists and healthcare professionals to create programs to raise awareness and prevent this STD from spreading.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing syphilis?

You may have a higher risk of developing syphilis if these factors apply to you:

  • HIV infection
  • Regularly engaging in unprotected and risky sex
  • Man who has sexual intercourse with other men
  • Changing multiple sexual partners

Symptoms of syphilis

Symptoms of syphilis vary from stage to stage.

The primary syphilis is usually indicated by chancre (small sore), which appears on the site where bacteria entered the body. The chancre develops about three weeks after exposure to bacteria. It may be hidden in rectum or vagina, so many people don’t notice it. Chancre tends to go away on its own in one to three weeks. Some people can have one chancre only, but others may have several, and it tends to be painless.

Secondary syphilis occurs within a few weeks after the chancre has healed. A person may notice:

  • Rash starting on the trunk and spreading across the body
  • Sores in mouth or genitals
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes

The above-mentioned symptoms may go away in a few weeks, but in some cases, they come and go throughout the year.

Latent syphilis occurs when a person isn’t treated in the first two stages. This phase has no noticeable symptoms, but it may last for years before it progresses to the tertiary stage. The last stage of syphilis involves the spreading of the STD to other organs such as the brain, blood vessels, heart, bones, liver, and joints.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Why get treated?

Without proper treatment, syphilis can progress from one stage to another and cause a number of complications such as the formation of small bumps or tumors on the skin, bones, and other organs, cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, higher risk of HIV, and complications in pregnancy and with childbirth.

How is syphilis treated?

Syphilis is easy to treat when diagnosed in early stages when doctors usually prescribe penicillin. In most cases, one injection is necessary. In later stages, syphilis can be difficult to treat, which is why it’s crucial to see the doctor as soon as you notice sore on your genital area.

Read More: Syphilis Treatment

Conclusion

Sexually transmitted diseases are common but are preventable. Practice safe sex, get tested regularly, and learn how to recognize signs and symptoms. The more you know, the safer you are.

Read More: STD’s in Ghana

References

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-10-2015-globally-an-estimated-two-thirds-of-the-population-under-50-are-infected-with-herpes-simplex-virus-type-1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081947/

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y#Sec5

https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/ghs-item-details.php?scid=22&iid=78

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-3967-6#Sec11

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998162/

Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Many people are at risk of gonococcal infections without their knowledge. Likewise, many carry the bacterium in their bodies without realizing it. Women are more resilient in tolerating the disease in their bodies than men. It is not clear why the disease can incubate in the host for a certain period without showing any signs of sickness. The risk is you may still be active and infecting others during this period. That is why it is highly necessary to have a culture of regular screening and testing.

Product: Right Sign Gonorrhea Test

Product: One Step Gonorrhea test

Vulnerable Groups

Though everyone is in danger of the infections, some persons are highly exposed to the disease. These include

  • Persons who have unsafe sex
  • Gay community
  • Lesbians
  • Persons with multiple sexual partners
  • Drug addicts sharing needles
  • Caregivers
  • If you suspect any risk exposure to the bacteria

Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Testing for the disease can be in two areas. If you have any indication of gonorrhea symptoms, you can visit the hospital for checking. At the clinic, the doctor will start by inquiring about your sexual data. Then, why you think you should have a test. After the formalities, the doctor will proceed for a physical examination for any indications.

Gonorrhea testing depends on suspicion. There are four types of tests that you may have. These are testing for gonorrhea in the genitals, rectum, throat, and eye. Mostly, genital and anal testing is standard. The medical practitioner will collect samples from the affected area using a clinical swab. Some doctors will prefer a blood or urine sample. The laboratory test will single out any presence of the gonococcal bacteria. Depending on the outcome, the prescription will follow or not.

Some people prefer a home test kit for testing at their homes. This is available in most chemists and online platforms. The testing instructions are simple, and the results precise. If your results come back positive, then you can opt for a clinical confirmation.

Read More: Gonorreha Symptoms

Effects of Late Diagnosis

The late diagnosis of gonorrhea can cause severe damage to other body organs. Since it can take some time before it manifests in your body, you can quickly treat symptoms thinking of other ailments. Then the bacteria find a way into the bloodstream. This opportunistic disease goes into your liver, eyes, stomach, heart, and other vital organs.

Besides that, your reproductive organs will suffer irreparable damage. For women, you may experience loss of your fallopian tubes and uterus. In the case of pregnancy, you may have bouts of ectopic pregnancies or even pass the bacteria to the child. In men, your urethra may damage and end up with prostate malfunction. Other severe cases include loss of your testicles, erectile dysfunction, and getting HIV.

References

sahralth.sa.gov.au

Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea is the most common venereal disease in the world. It is a bacteria that cause gonorrhea to transmit through unsafe sex or to come into contact with genital fluids, and this bacterium contain the disease. It is noteworthy, that women have a higher tolerance for the disease than men.

Therefore it is less likely for women to manifest signs of the disease than men, something you should keep in mind.

Vulnerable group

The vulnerable group in this instance is persons with exposure to unprotected sex, people with multiple sex partners, and furthermore drug addicts sharing intravenous needles.

These persons should have regular gonorrhea tests to contain any possible infection.

Clinical Signs in Men

The signs of the disease in men and women differ due to the difference in anatomy and tolerance.

In men, the symptoms may come after a few weeks of infection, and pain while urinating, and is a clear indication of gonorrhea. But should not be the decider of diagnosis. After some time, other manifestations come out.

Symptoms in men

  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Milky pus oozing from the penis
  • Inflammation of the testicles
  • Painful swelling of the penis
  • Redness color of the penis
  • And sometimes a sore throat

Clinical Signs in Women

Women have a low manifestation of the disease, because it is common for women to have urinary tract illnesses. Therefore, when the symptoms of gonorrhea come out, women can easily confuse it with vaginal yeast and other several bacterial infections, common to women. Nevertheless, the common gonorrhea symptoms are:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Pain or itchy feeling when urinating
  • Heavy menses
  • Fever
  • Pelvic pain
  • Sore throat
  • Pain when having sex

Read More: Gonorrhea general information

Gonorrhea in Other Parts of the Body

If you do go not seek treatment, the bacteria may spread to infect other body parts. Primarily, gonorrhea attacks any body part with a mucous membrane. Some of those include the rectum the throat, and the eyes.

The Rectum

Cases of spreading of gonorrhea through anal sex are rampant, and you should not ignore the risk. The riskof getting gonorrhea is more common in gay communities and heterosexuals engaging in anal sex. Symptoms of anal gonorrhea include:

  • Pain in the anus
  • Itchy feeling around the anus
  • Inflammation in the rectum

Read More: Gonorrhea in the Anus and Rectum

Throat

Practicing oral sex with a person infected with gonorrhea is an exposure to the disease. The gonococcal bacterium can infect your throat through the saliva, and many of the symptoms resemble common fever, cold and the flu. When this happens, your body displays these signs:

  • Fever
  • Swelling of your lymph glands
  • Sore and hoarse throat
  • Fever and headaches

The Eye

The contact of the gonococcal bacterium with the eyes brings about gonorrhea of the eye. It is not common, yet the most damaging. The disease damages the cornea and optical nerves, thus causing blindness. Some of the signs are:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Thick sticky discharge from the eye
  • Poor vision

Read More: Gonorrhea in the Eye

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

https://www.gardp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/STI_Gonorrhea_Strategy_Proposal.pdf

Information about Home Test for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea can be fatal if you do not contain it early enough. The bacterium that causes the disease finds its way into the blood and attacks other vital body organs. This leaves you with a multiple of different conditions to deal with. Thus there is a need for early screening and treatment of the bacteria.

The available data show that most of the clinical records have few precise accounts. This is due to the stigma that follows people with the disease. Mostly in Africa, people shy away from the clinical testing for fear of being singled out. This is the reason why we should encourage more home test kits for individuals. Again, there should be available drugs just in case people come forward for treatment.

Home Testing of Gonorrhea

The available home testing kits are easy to follow with simple instructions. While the laboratory tests take about one or two days, the home test procedure takes a mere 15 minutes. If you follow the instructions in maintain good hygiene and take good samples, you will have precise results.

Product: Gonorrhea Test

Women and men have different biological anatomies. This makes the difference in the taking of samples. Sometimes, you may take urine samples instead of the genital tissues. The kit comes with a swab, test tube, two solutions, and a diagnosis cartridge.

Women Specimen Sampling

Take the swab and insert it into the vagina. Genital sampling seems to favor better results than urine. Once in the vagina, rotate and rub the swab on the vaginal lining walls for the collection of tissues. Once you do it for about ten seconds, pull the swab out. Put the first solution A into the test tube. After putting the swab samples into the test tube, add drops of the other solution B. Close the test tube and shake it for about ten seconds.

Men Specimen Sampling

Take the swab and insert it into the urethra opening. Gently rotate it around the inner lining. This ensures the cell tissues come out with swabs. After introducing the first solution into the test tube, add the sample from the swab. Similarly, after the specimen, drop in the second solution and close the test tube. Shake it for about ten seconds.

Final Diagnosis

The last part of the procedure is basic to both men and women. After shaking the test tube, introduce the mixture into the diagnosing cartridge. This will screen the sample for about twenty minutes. Then the results will be out. Double lines mean that you are positive. On the other hand, a single line shows that you are negative. This is an easy way of beating the stigmatization in most clinics and society.

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis Gonorrhea

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by the Neisseria Gonorrhea bacterium. Every year, approximately 11.4 million people are infected by this disease in Africa.

Gonorrhea is transmitted through any form of unprotected sexual intercourse – vaginal, anal, or oral. In addition to unprotected sex, a study in Ghana found that alcohol usage can also increase your chances of getting infected.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Symptoms of Gonorrhea

Symptoms of a gonococcal infection begin to appear after two to seven days. It’s essential to note that symptoms of this infection can differ between men ad women.

While most men do experience symptoms of the disease, a significant portion of women does not. This can lead to late diagnosis in women.

Thus, it’s vital to keep a lookout for symptoms of the disease, especially after unprotected sex.

Here are some of the symptoms of Gonorrhea:

  • Yellow-green discharge
  • Burning sensation or pain when urinating
  • Abdominal pain

Women may also experience some irregular bleeding between their periods. Similarly, men may experience swelling of the testicles or a sore penis.

Read More: Gonorrhea symptoms

Read More: Signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea

Complications

As we mentioned before, symptoms of Gonorrhea are less obvious in women. This makes the infection harder to detect and means that it can go untreated. If Gonorrhea in women is not treated in time, it can put women at risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

PID occurs in around 15% of cases when the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries. PID itself is a painful condition that requires separate treatment. However, it can also lead to more severe complications such as infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

Hence, it’s vital for women to take precautions when they have unprotected sex or switch sexual partners frequently. Having protected sex is the safest way to ensure you’re not at risk of catching an STD.

Read more: All you need to know about STD’s in Africa

In men, complications of Gonorrhea are uncommon. Primarily this is because it’s easy to detect the infection in men, who can then seek treatment in time.

In case the infection goes untreated, it can spread to the prostate and testicles, which is quite painful. The spread of the infection can also block the urine passageway, causing damage to the kidneys.

Diagnosis

Luckily, the procedure of diagnosing Gonorrhea is easy. Once you book a doctor’s appointment, your doctor will take a sample to test for the infection. It’s also common for your doctor to take extra precautions and test for chlamydia as well. This is because chlamydia is often transmitted alongside Gonorrhea.

Product: Right Sign Gonorrhea Test

Product: One Step Gonorrhea Test

If you don’t have the time to go to your doctor, you can also take at-home tests for both Gonorrhea and chlamydia. These are easy to use, and you can get results quickly, no need to anxiously wait for hospital results!

Product: 4-in-1 STD Test Bundle

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with Gonorrhea, you can treat it through medicine prescribed to you by your doctor. It is essential that you don’t self-prescribe any medicine, especially because there are new strains of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in regions such as Ghana.

While Gonorrhea is treatable, it can be tricky to detect. If left untreated, it can cause some complications as well. Thus, it’s important to take the necessary precautions and practice safe sex.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment 

References:

https://bit.ly/2CSNUCM

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/07-07-2017-antibiotic-resistant-gonorrhoea-on-the-rise-new-drugs-needed

Gonorrhea in the Eye

Gonorrhea information

The terminology Gonorrhea is widely known to be a venereal disease. Few people know that is can affect other parts of the body. Ideally, it is a sexual disease that passes from one person to another through sexual interaction. It may be through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Adults are more at risk of the disease through their sexual activities.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

However, it is also common for women to pass the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria to the baby during pregnancy or at childbirth. The emergence of gonorrhea in parts of the eye is an alarming case. Failure to detect it leads to blindness, through the gradual damaging of the cornea and optical nerves.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms 

Analysis

The spread of the gonorrhea bacteria can cause defects in other body parts. But the optical gonorrhea is hardly through the bloodstream. The eye gets infected through contact with bacterial fluids. Mostly, it comes from touching your eyes with hands contaminated with the bacteria. 

The clinical manifestations vary from one person to the other. But when you are most likely to have gonorrhea of the eye if you exhibit signs of conjunctivitis like

  • Constant itching of the eyes and pain
  • Stinging inflammation and redness 
  • The sticky yellowish liquid that tends to bind the eyelids
  • Poor vision due to soreness

If the infection comes from your system, then you will have the conventional clinical signs of genital gonorrhea like

  • The swelling of lymph nodes next to the ears
  • Genital discharge in both men and women
  • Pain, itching, and inflammation of the genitals
  • Discomfort while passing urine

Testing and Treatment

The doctor will take clinical samples for laboratory analysis from the affected eyes. Other tests include fluid samples from the throat, genitals, and rectum. This is to ascertain if it is indeed gonorrhea. If the results come in affirmative, the doctor will recommend antibiotics and eye gels for a specified period. Though home testing kits are available, it is highly advisable to go for expert medical practitioners.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Product: Gonorrhea Test 

Prevention

The best way to avoid gonorrhea is to abstain from sex and STDs. Nevertheless, you may still contract it through body contact with unclean hands. If you shake hands containing the gonococcal bacteria and touch your eye, the bacteria will infect your eye. As far as you are concerned, practice safe sex and observe a high standard of hygiene afterward.

Few women show any signs of the disease during the window period. Regular screening helps in addressing the infection before spreading to other parts. Equally, men should have periodical screening to be safe. This is for those who have regular unprotected sex. 

The last group is pregnant women. Many newborn babies contract the disease at the delivery time. It is suitable for expectant mothers to abstain from sex or have regular screening to deter the mother to infant transmission.

Read More: Gonorrhea Overview 

References

https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/eye-disorders/conjunctival-and-scleral-disorders/infectious-conjunctivitis

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002511

Gonorrhea in the Anus and Rectum

Gonorrhea information

The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases globally is high. Generally, the conditions are diverse according to the geographical regions in question. Likewise, they differ in symptoms and modes of transmission. Recently, there is a new rise in rectal sexual transmission of diseases.

Mostly, bacteria pass from the secretion of the infected penis into the rectum. The risk is open to men who have anal sex with their women partners, but the prevalence is higher in homosexuals. This is due to constant engagement in anal sex. Though gonorrhea is most common in the heterosexual organs, the emergence of anal Gonorrhea is raising medical concerns.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Analysis

The gonococcus bacterium is dangerous in many parts of the body. In preference, it infects the parts that are close in contact with sexual fluids. These include the oral, vaginal, and anal organs. In women, the infection is less since most of them contract the disease through the vagina. In some cases, the vaginal discharge may find its way to the anus due to the two organs’ proximity. The argument is different in men since the only way of sex between two men is through the anus.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

On average, the incubation window period after infection is about 2 to 7 days. Depending on individuals, some clinical manifestations can take more days than a week, but not more than two weeks. The indications are homogeneous in both men and women. Some of those include painful itching in and around the rectum opening, blood, and pus discharge. This makes it difficult for the victim to have proper functionalities in the bowels.

Testing

In the first place, anyone who suspects any risky of exposure to gonorrhea should go for medical testing. At the clinic, the doctor may opt for a sigmoidoscopic examination. A little camera goes into the rectum to detect any sore ulcers. The doctor can take samples from the anal fluids for testing. And lastly, you can have a self-examination at home using a specialized medical kit.

Product: Right Sign Gonorrhea Test

Product: One Step Gonorrhea Test

Treatment

It is wise for both partners to seek screening and treatment at the earliest convenient time. This helps contain the spread of the bacteria from further damage. If there is a delay in medication, several conditions may occur. In both men and women, the spread can cause damage to the reproductive organs and fertility.

When the infecting bacteria get to the bloodstream, it spreads to other parts of the body. Fatal brain and nervous complications like meningitis and arthritis may manifest.

The regular medication of anal gonorrhea is by antibiotics. But any delay for treatment complicates the treatment procedure. Doctors recommend that you have screening after the medication period. This ensures a medical confirmation that the disease is over.

Read More: Gonorrhea Diagnosis and Testing

References

https://sti.bmj.com/content/81/4/287

https://www.avert.org/sex-stis/sexually-transmitted-infections/gonorrhoea

https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/4-79

The Use of Home Tests for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Each year, there are more and more Gonorrhea cases, and even worse, there are more cases where Gonorrhea has led to terrifying health issues. And yet, practicing safe sex and getting tested for Gonorrhea and any other STDs seem to be a lot difficult for the people of Ghana.

Because this is a topic like many others that people do not like to talk about, people lack the knowledge that they need to protect themselves against these difficult diseases or even get tested and treated in time. Today, we explore the importance of home tests as an alternative to the tests that are done at the medical facilities. Are the home tests an effective way to get your condition diagnosed?

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What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted during pregnancy and delivery. The best way to protect yourself against Gonorrhea and any other sexually transmitted disease is always to use a proper contraceptive – preferably a latex condom. The number of new Gonorrhea cases grows each year.

Read More: Gonorrhea

According to the latest research, back in 2017 in Ghana, the prevalence of Gonorrhea cases was 6.6% within women, and 3.5% within men. Left untreated, Gonorrhea leads to infertility, damage to the heart muscle, pelvic inflammatory disease, inflammation to the lining of the brain and/or spinal cord, ectopic pregnancy, etc. Gonorrhea is treated using antibiotics and abstaining from sex to prevent the infection from spreading.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?

The first symptoms of Gonorrhea are expected to occur within two weeks after exposure. There are also certain individuals that do not develop any noticeable symptoms at the beginning of the infection. They pose a great threat since unaware, and they can easily spread the infection to another partner with whom they engage in unprotected sex.

Read More: Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea

The first symptom in men is usually a burning/painful sensation during urination. Further symptoms include swelling of the testicles, swelling and redness of the opening of the penis, increased frequency of urination, and white, yellow, or greenish discharge of the penis.

Among women, the symptoms usually include a watery, greenish discharge from the vagina along with heavier periods, painful or burning sensation during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, fever, etc.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Why get tested for Gonorrhea?

Testing for Gonorrhea will help protect you from the harmful risks that are to come with this bacterial infection. It will also help prevent it from spreading to any other individuals with whom you would engage in unprotected sexual intercourse of any kind.

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Read More: One Step Gonorrhea Test

All adults that are sexually active are advised to test for Gonorrhea and other STDs, at least once a year or more, depending on their lifestyle. Please do get tested for Gonorrhea as soon as possible if:

  • You engage in unprotected sex;
  • You have multiple sexual partners;
  • You engage in unprotected sex with a person who has present Gonorrhea symptoms;
  • You are a man who engages in sex with other men;
  • You have had Gonorrhea before;
  • You are pregnant;
  • You have other STDs;
  • You are experiencing any Gonorrhea symptoms.

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Why use a home test for Gonorrhea?

Because talking about STDs, including Gonorrhea, is considered to be a taboo in Ghana, but also because of the high Gonorrhea rates, the home test for Gonorrhea is the perfect solution. The home test for Gonorrhea allows you to check for any Gonorrhea signs before any symptoms have developed and helped protect yourself against any of the risks that this disease is known to carry with itself.

A home test is offering you a chance to find out if you have Gonorrhea while enjoying the privacy of your home. Although Gonorrhea testing, when done in a medical facility, is usually covered by medical insurance, sometimes there is no opportunity for this testing to take place, or simply many people feel more comfortable when they are doing this in privacy even if it costs more.

Gonorrhea is diagnosed by a urine sample and vaginal swap (for women), and this is the principle that the self-test providers follow as well. With the difference, that is, that the self-test is offering you privacy. You are still recommended to consult your doctor about your results.

How to use STD Test Kit

A self-test kit usually comes with either a vaginal swap or a urine sample. Rectal and throat swaps may be available, as well. You take your own sample following the provided instruction, which you will later send over to the laboratory. Usually, the results come after around 72 hours, notifying you if you have tested positive or negative for a Gonorrhea infection. Not to worry, the laboratory facilities are all certified; the tests are FDA-approved, and they all come in the most discreet packaging to ensure the highest privacy possible.

Read More: STD’s in Africa

Read More: Why it’s important to get tested

If you have tested positive, it is of vital importance that you inform your doctor and your partner with whom you have most recently engaged in sexual intercourse of any kind. If you have tested negative and still experience symptoms of any kind, you are still advised to consult your doctor in order to find out the cause for those symptoms.

So, what’s it all about?

Home tests are the answer to your prayers. Now you get to test and find out whether or not you are in need of treatment for Gonorrhea or not in just a couple of hours. Take the easy home test and send the sample; the results come after 72 hours with a low cost and high accuracy. Do not let Gonorrhea pose a threat to your health and to the health of your partner. Get yourself informed, get tested today!

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

References

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205863

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5354566/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gonorrhea/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351780

All You Need to Know About STDs in Africa

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

STDs or Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a serious burden for the overall health of many people in Africa. These diseases not only do they affect health, but they also have economic and social consequences. Based on statistics from 2018, more than 20.6 million people in the south and eastern African region have HIV.

Read More: HIV and AIDS

However, the problem doesn’t solely include AIDS or HIV; in fact, it includes HCV, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, HBV, and more. The core of the problem begins with the poor knowledge and awareness of Africans regarding STIs. Based on statistics from 35 different countries across Africa, only 66.8% use condoms, and just 42.5% believe it is possible to get HBV from intercourse.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Read More: Genital Herps (HSV) in Ghana

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Most people in Africa hide their STIs because they consider it to be disgraceful. This is a cultural phenomenon that has put a strain on the way people deal with the diseases. Patients are afraid to seek help or address the issue. Research from 2017 shows that 37 million people across the globe live with HIV, while 66% of all cases come from the sub-Saharan African region. That is a total of 5.6 million people. In other words, South Africa has the biggest number of people who live with HIV. 

Even though the economy in Africa boomed in mid-2013, it still remains the poorest continent in the world. In South Africa, the number of people infected with HIV continues to grow, but treatments and other forms of support, like counseling, have increased as well. Despite the scientific progress for treating such diseases, cultural traditions and laws remain a barrier for preventing STIs all across the continent.

Main Focus:

  • The Risk Factors Associated with STDs in Ghana
  • AIDS and STDs in Ghana
  • Genital Herpes Is a Serious Issue
  • Syphilis During Pregnancy
  • Current Challenges and Problems to Overcome

The Risk Factors Associated with STDs in Ghana

Based on statistics, more than a million STIs are transmitted across the globe every single day. Some of these STIs can be treated, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, but others can have serious consequences on the overall health.

In all developing countries in Africa, including Ghana, this is a serious issue, since STIs are the most common bacterial infections that can be transmitted in the area.

The reason why this is so important is that such infections as HIV, for example, can be a serious potential epidemic for the entire continent, research shows. These symptoms in females are easily recognizable like:

  • Discharge
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Painful or trouble urinating
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Blood in the urine

However, in many cases, these symptoms don’t appear often making patients delay their necessary treatment or transmit the disease even more. According to research, if the infections are left untreated, they could make women susceptible to complications during pregnancy. They can cause chronic pain in the pelvic area, infertility, pneumonia, or blindness.

The symptoms in males are a little different, studies show. The most typical symptoms may include:

  • Discharge
  • Narrowed urethra
  • Inflamed testicles
  • Sterility

AIDS and STDs in Ghana

Many infectious diseases, like gonorrhea, were first recorded in Ghana before the European settlers colonized the land. In the southern part of Ghana, syphilis and gonorrhea became a serious problem in the 20s. It took years before the problem dissipated. But, during the late 40s, with the arrival of the troops from World War II and laborers, syphilis and gonorrhea cases only spiked once more.

Based on records, the government didn’t take any necessary precautions to stop the spread of the diseases. As a result, people had to find a different alternative that would help ease the symptoms, and that was sulpha drugs. These were, in fact, illegal drugs only sold on the black market in Ghana.

When the first time AIDS was diagnosed, and cases with trichomonas, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were registered, back in 1986, the government turned their attention towards this serious problem. In 1993, programs were introduced to help control the spread of the disease and raise awareness.

However, due to the lack of funds, people can’t afford to insist on using condoms, which remains a serious issue for the African population.

Genital Herpes Is a Serious Issue

According to statistics, a lot more people in Africa have genital herpes compared to the U.S. Researchers believe that identifying the properties of the viruses widespread in Africa could open the door to new possibilities. Particularly in creating vaccines that could help reduce the rampant infections.

The reason why this is so important is that patients who suffer from genital herpes are more at risk of developing AIDS or HIV. Herpes contains many cells, specifically immune cells, that the HIV infection will target.

Based on the same statistics, 90% of adults in the southern African region have genital herpes compared to the 20% in the U.S. Even though herpes is not something that has recently been discovered, it persists in the African community, often affecting a single person for decades.

For people who never notice these symptoms, the virus could be a silent infiltrator that will slowly disintegrate the health over time. It will make the person prone to more serious infections in the near future.

Read More: Genital Herpes (HSV) Symptoms

Syphilis During Pregnancy

Studies show that Africa has a lack of coverage for treatments and screening for syphilis infections in clinics. The benefits of having such treatments have been well-documented across the years. Statistics show that this particular bacterial infection is accountable for 50% of all stillbirths, particularly in Mwanza.

If this infection is properly treated in the African regions, it can help save many lives. However, it remained an unsolved problem in this continent for a long time. It wasn’t until 1992 that the number of pregnant women screened for syphilis elevated to 100%. Compared to 60% during the previous years, it is a welcome change. Furthermore, 50% of their partners also received proper treatment for syphilis, meaning there are a lot of people who have yet to be treated or screened for syphilis.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Control and Management

According to research, despite the valuable efforts to increase public awareness and knowledge of STIs in Africa, all sexually transmitted diseases remain a huge problem for the general public. These diseases result in numerous deaths, problems with pregnancies, cancer, illness, and more.

In fact, Africa is the number one most affected continent by both STIs and HIV in the world, statistics show. Based on the same statistics, around 14.1 million children have been recorded losing both or one of their parents due to sexually transmitted diseases.

Since 2008, effective and high-quality programs have been implemented. Each of these programs focused on providing treatment for HIV and necessary consultations. The idea was to raise awareness and improve the overall cases in different countries around the continent. Since then, 44% of children and adults are now receiving proper treatment. That is a lot more compared to the 2% coverage patients had in 2003.

The coverage for many is fruitful. Unfortunately, there are many individuals in Africa who have yet to attend programs to control their disease. This is the main problem, and a real challenge for the programs since individuals such as these fail to get tested or receive counseling. Most of these individuals are men.

The increase in the effectiveness of the coverage itself is not enough to diminish the real epidemic across the continent. There is a lot more work to be done to prevent this serious issue. More implementations and findings are necessary if the efforts are to continue.

Due to the lack, or the non-existent infection programs in Africa, it is more difficult to control the epidemic.  But, there is one research, previously mentioned, that shows the effect of the already-implemented programs in this region. Since 1999, syphilis and chlamydia infections have drastically decreased, making these programs beneficial and important.

With all the efforts and available counseling, now 85% of the people in Africa are aware they are HIV positive, and 79% of them now get proper treatment, statistics show.

Current Challenges and Problems to Overcome

All the important advances in research for HIV and STDs have been coming from the data collected in Africa. Many of them are now used on a daily basis in clinics around the world. That makes this continent one of the most important places for studying the effects of the infections. 

But, there are three major problems that slow down further improvements and successful treatments. Those problems include:

  • Inadequate funding
  • Lack of workforce that has been trained to work in this environment
  • Proper infrastructure

Without any of these factors, any further success is seriously impaired. Firstly, infections such as gonorrhea require constant management and monitoring to avoid the spread of the infection. Secondly, all the treatments required and testings necessary cost a lot of money. This can put a huge strain on the currently available funds.

To manage the costs, quick and cheap syphilis tests are now conducted in African regions. Another serious problem that affects the whole effect of the program is discrimination. In many, if not all, African countries, it is impossible for healthcare workers to give any help to patience because of the discriminatory law. Lastly, international partners are crucial in programs such as these. Without partners, the research won’t be able to receive proper funding or take up numerous different strategies.

In this current situation, the HPV vaccine is difficult to afford, which is why many people, particularly women, are at risk of cancer or other diseases. To make the vaccine available for everyone, manufacturers should reduce the cost. After all, these vaccines can save a life.

To make sure that children don’t get the same disease, research shows, it is better to implement the HPV vaccine into typical vaccination schedules for children.

There is also another problem that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some people in Africa who are more vulnerable to STIs than the rest of the population. These people are sex workers, young women, transgender people, men who have intercourse with men, and those who are imprisoned. While others can still get these infections, the people who meet these specific criteria are more exposed to it, making the infection difficult to control.

Conclusion

For Africa, any sexually transmitted infections are a serious problem. This continent has been the main front for STI research in the last couple of decades resulting in numerous valuable research that could potentially be life-saving.

However, such results can’t be achieved over-night. It requires a series of long-term data, dedication, and collaboration with people and partnerships. In the past, STIs were not that focused on, and people had to rely on illegal methods to obtain medications.

When this research was first introduced, it was able to address only specific issues and focus on counseling. But, as the years progressed and the infections spread, more interventions had to be implemented. Due to the strong scientific evidence, the problem of the STIs is now strongly acknowledged making it a top priority to solve.

The approach to the disease was changed in an effort to bring acceptable care for patients in need. As a result, it was possible to implement interventions that would help control the spread of infections.

To overcome this problem, there are plenty of different steps that should be taken. Some of these steps have begun many years ago, but remain an unsolved issue today. The real problem rests in the multiple factors that halt the progress. Despite having the necessary technology and data for controlling such infections, a lack of funding and cultural restrictions make the problem even more difficult to deal with.

Without a proper vaccine, it is almost impossible to prevent HIV in Africa because of how widespread it is. Since the sexual reproductive health in Africa is considered taboo and irrelevant, it makes it more difficult to share awareness and increase overall knowledge.

Cooperating with partners has made training programs, treatments, counseling, and teaching activities possible. These programs have proved effective.

Reference

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213224

https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7705861

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00007435-200811000-00011

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)61729-2/fulltext

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415083142.htm#targetText=In%20southern%20Africa%2C%20infection%20rates,percent%20in%20the%20United%20States.&targetText=In%20evolutionary%20terms%2C%20the%20herpes%20viruses%20are%20very%20old.

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_2/ii10

http://data.unaids.org/pub/report/2009/jc1700_epi_update_2009_en.pdf

https://sti.bmj.com/content/86/7/488?ijkey=f61101ad7ea4a6d38d38ad09d08ea667c028b5ad&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/sub-saharan-africa/overview