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/

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

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?

Product: STD 4-in-1 Test Kit Bundle

Product: One Step Test Kit bundle

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.

Product: Gonorrhea Private Test

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

Treatment of Gonorrhea: Modern approaches

Gonorrhea information

The treatment of this extremely common sexually transmitted disease has become very difficult for the past decade. Neisseria gonorrhoeae – the causative organism has a particularly strong proclivity to develop antibiotic resistance, and many older treatment regimens have become obsolete. So, what are the current best practices for treatment?

Read more: Gonorrhea Facts

Gonorrhea Medicine

  The current first-line treatment of genital gonorrhea involves:

  • A single dose of a cephalosporin antibiotic (most commonly ceftriaxone 250 mg) given via intramuscular injection
  • Single-dose azithromycin (Zithromax) 1 g.

This regimen is very quick and very convenient, particularly because it is often given immediately in the clinic. Those more scared of needles opt for oral cefixime 400 mg since ceftriaxone is only available in the form of an intramuscular injection. It is important to note that cefixime is not as effective for the various types of infections gonorrhea causes outside the reproductive system (throat infections, bacterial arthritis and etc.), and is thus only seen as an alternative when ceftriaxone is not available.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

All gonorrhea treatment regimens also take into account the coexistence of chlamydia. These two infections often occur together and are thus treated together.

Alternative treatment of Gonorrhea

An alternative treatment course would incorporate ceftriaxone with a tetracycline antibiotic, most commonly doxycycline. This combination is no longer recommended by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to antibiotic resistance. It is generally considered “good practice” to have the local antibiotic resistance characteristics in mind when prescribing. For example, the WHO also states that ceftriaxone or cefixime can be used on their own for treatment provided there is reliable data that the local strain is susceptible to these on their own.

Read More: Why get tested for Gonorrhea

A novel antibiotic for the treatment of gonorrhea is spectinomycin (Trobicin). It is a rarely used antibiotic in the developing world (especially sub-Saharan Africa) due to its cost, having a wholesale cost per dose ranging from 2 to 20 times higher than ceftriaxone or azithromycin. Nevertheless, it can be used as a single treatment, with a 2-gram intramuscular injection enough to fight the most susceptible strains.

There is hope for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the future. Research done by the CDC and the National Institute of Health (NIH) has shown that combinations of:

  • Gentamicin plus azithromycin or
  • Gemifloxacin plus azithromycin

 Are more than 99% effective for the treatment of genital gonorrhea. Even better, both of these new combinations are given orally. The CDC has not changed its recommendation, though, noting the significant gastrointestinal side effects of these medications as the cause. With new experimental treatments such as zoliflodacin showing promise, not all is bleak for those with sexually transmitted diseases.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/arg/basic.htm

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/gonorrhoea-treatment-guidelines/en/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218059-treatment#d9

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165062/

https://www.jwatch.org/na47824/2018/11/07/new-oral-antibiotic-treatment-gonorrhea

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by an infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This infection, as the term implies, is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, including oral, vaginal, and anal sexual intercourse. Gonorrhea tends to infect warm, moist areas of the body such as the urethra, vagina, the female reproductive system, eyes, etc. Approximately 800,000 Gonorrhea cases have been estimated to occur each year in the United States alone. Luckily, most countries offer a free-of-charge diagnosis and treatment. In the following, we will explain the major signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea to help you learn how to recognize them and ask for help as soon as possible.

Read More: Gonorrhea Overview

The characteristic symptoms of Gonorrhea

The first signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea are expected to occur within two to fourteen days after the exposure. The biggest problem with Gonorrhea is that many individuals never develop any noticeable symptoms, thus exposing themselves to the great risks that come with leaving the infection untreated. In fact, research from 1974 has revealed that approximately 43% of the participants had no noticeable symptoms at all. These individuals also pose a risk of spreading the infection even further, since they are unaware of being the so-called nonsymptomatic carriers.

  • Symptoms in men

In men, the first symptom usually develops within the first week after exposure. In most cases, the first symptom is painful urination. As the infection progresses, other symptoms follow as well, including:

  • Frequent urination;
    • Urgency of urination;
    • A pus-like discharge of the penis, with a characteristic green, white, or yellowish color;
    • Swelling at the opening of the penis;
    • Swelling and pain in one testicle;
    • Persistent sore throat etc.
  • Symptoms in women

It is common for most women to not experience any symptoms at all. And when they do, the symptoms variate from mild to more severe and commonly mimic the symptoms of other health problems, making it a real challenge to make an accurate diagnosis. In women, the most characteristic symptoms are:

  • Painful urination;
    • Frequent urination;
    • Heavier menstrual periods;
    • Vaginal bleeding in-between menstrual periods;
    • Painful sexual intercourse;
    • Vulvar swelling;
    • Vaginal discharge, usually being watery or creamy, slightly greenish colored;
    • Fever;
    • Sharp abdominal pain;
    • Persistent sore throat, etc.

If any of these symptoms are present, do consult a doctor as soon as possible. Gonorrhea is diagnosed by taking a swab and a blood sample that is later analyzed. Antibiotics will help relieve the present symptoms and improve your health. Because of the potential complications, Gonorrhea represents a health issue that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Read More: Gonorrhea in the eye

Read More: Gonorrhea in the Anus and Rectum

Read More: Gonorrhea Testing and Diagnosis

Gonorrhea, which is a common STD, threatens to cause difficult complications, including ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and even damage to your brain and spinal cord, among others, if left untreated. It is of vital importance for anyone who practices unprotected sex to remember the symptoms of Gonorrhea and get regularly tested for this, and all of the other common STDs as a way to protect their health.

Product: Gonorrhea Test (Right Sign)

Product: Gonorrhea Test (One Step)

References

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

http://www.intheknowzone.com/sexual-health-topics/gonorrhea/statistics.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1947122/

https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/do-i-have-gonorrhea

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/gonorrhea/what-are-symptoms-gonorrhea

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