Clap; The drip
Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear 2 - 5 days after infection, however, in men, symptoms may take up to a month to appear. Some people do not have symptoms. They may be completely unaware that they have caught the infection, and therefore do not seek treatment. This increases the risk of complications and the chances of passing the infection on to another person.
Symptoms in men include:
Symptoms in women can be very mild or nonspecific, and may be mistaken for another type of infection. They include:
If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, fever, rash, and arthritis-like symptoms may occur.
Gonorrhea can be quickly identified by staining a sample of tissue or discharge and then looking at it under a microscope. This is called a gram stain. Although this method is fast, it is not the most certain.
Gram stain tests used to diagnose gonorrhea include:
Cultures (cells that grow in a lab dish) provide absolute proof of infection. Generally, samples for a culture are taken from the cervix, vagina, urethra, anus, or throat. Cultures can provide a preliminary diagnosis often within 24 hours and a confirmed diagnosis within 72 hours.
Cultures used to diagnose gonorrhea include:
DNA tests are especially useful as a screening test. They included the ligase chain reaction (LCR) test. DNA tests are quicker than cultures. Such tests can be performed on urine samples, which are a lot easier to collect than samples from the genital area.
If you have gonorrhea, you should ask to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. If you are 21 or older, you should be sure you have had a recent pap smear.
Shrestha RK, Englund K. Infectious disease. In: Carey WD, ed. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:section 8.
Workowski KA, Berman S; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010 Dec 17;59(RR-12):1-110.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
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