Gonorrhoea is an inflammatory disease
affecting specially the mucous membrane of the urethra in the
male and that of the vagina in the female, but spreading to
other parts of the body too.
Causes & symptoms:
It is directly contagious
usually by sexual intercourse. However, it can occasionally be
conveyed by discharge on towels or clothing as well.
In men, the disease
manifests itself in the form of irritation of the urethra,
scalding pain on passing urine and a viscid yellowish-white
discharge. The lymph glands in the groin often become enlarged
and many suppurate. The urine contains yellow threads of pus
visible to the naked eye. When the disease continues for some
time, inflammation in the neighbouring organs may appear - the
testicles, prostate gland and the bladder being affected. At a
still later stage, the inflammation of the urethra is apt to
lead to formation of fibrous tissue around it , leading to its
narrowing and great difficulty in passing urine. The infection
may spread to the various joints of the body, making them stiff.
Occasionally, general septicemia with inflammation of the heart
valves and abscesses in various parts of the body may also set
in. It may also cause a severe form of conjunctivitis and
in newly-born children, it may lead to total blindness. This
condition is called ophthalmia neonatorum.
In females, the course and
complications of the disease are somewhat different. It begins
with a yellow vaginal discharge, pain on passing urine and very
often, inflammation of the glands situated close to the valva -
the mouth of the vagina. The most serious problem is that the
inflammation may spread to the uterus, the fallopian tubes and
the ovaries, causing permanent damage. Occasionally, it may lead
to peritonitis, that is, inflammation of the enveloping
membrance of the abdomen, with fatal results. Many cases of
continued ill health, sterility and recurring miscarriages are
due to these changes.
Patients should be given complete
rest. Ridding horses or other forms of transport,
particularly in which the hips come in contact with
a hard seat, is prohibited, as is any discussion or
thinking of sex. Warm water baths are indicated.
Diuretics and laxatives in case of constipation are
also advised. Fluid intake should be increased -
water mixed with a little milk being the chief