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Signs of gonorrhea include urination that is painful or frequent, an abnormal discharge from the genitals, itching around the anus or genitals, sore throat and pink eye. In addition to these symptoms, women may have other signs of gonorrhea including painful sexual intercourse, unusual menstrual bleeding and lower abdominal pain. If these symptoms occur, an individual should be checked by a medical doctor for the best course of treatment, or the condition could worsen. Sometimes, no signs of gonorrhea will be present at all.
When gonorrhea is transmitted, there is an incubation period in which no signs will be present in men or women. During this time, the bacterial infection is maturing and becoming established and no symptoms will be present in men or women. This typically takes approximately two to five days, but could take as long as 30 days. The incubation period is still dangerous because it is a time when an individual has no symptom, but is still able to spread the infection to others.
The disease affects each gender somewhat differently. In men, the signs of gonorrhea are typically more noticeable and also more bothersome. Therefore, men tend to seek medical treatment relatively quickly after showing symptoms. Women, on the other hand, may go a long time before noticing symptoms, which could spread to other parts of the body. Untreated gonorrhea could ultimately lead to some other complications.
If gonorrhea has progressed, it may develop into other problems, especially in women. These other signs of gonorrhea include pelvic inflammatory disease, an abscess near the ovaries, and even infertility. If the woman is pregnant, there is also an increased risk of a tubal pregnancy, also known as an ectopic pregnancy. These pregnancies are very dangerous and always result in the death of the unborn child. If not treated, the mother also runs the risk of death.
Once a patient notices the signs of gonorrhea, the treatment options often involve the use of an antibiotic because the disease is a bacterial infection. The antibiotic will eventually eradicate the disease, but it is important to follow the treatment through to the end, even if signs of the disease are no longer present. Often, the signs disappear before the infection is completely cleared up, leaving some to think the disease is totally gone. This is especially true with gonorrhea in women because the signs are often so subtle. To prevent further spreading, individuals should abstain from sexual contact for at least seven days after the last application of the medicine.