What To Know About Gonorrhea Discharge

Published: 08th April 2010
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Gonorrhea, also known as clap, white, drips, stain, and dose in lay terms, can be divided into two categories: local and disseminated. Local infection can involve the mucosal surfaces of cervix, urethra, and rectum; pharynx and conjunctiva. Systemic infection involves bacteria in the blood stream with polyarthritis, skin inflammation, inflammation of the heart, and inflammation of the meninges; and this is more common in women.

Gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent STDs in the United States; where more than 600,000 new cases are reported each year. It is widely believed that the incidence of Gonorrhea unreported and that the actual number of cases is much greater. Teenagers and young adults are at the highest risk. Most cases of Gonorrhea occur in people age 15 to 29 years, with the highest rate in those ages 20 to 24 years. This infection is caused by the gram-negative diplococcus Neisseria gonorrhea. The causative organism does not survive long outside the body. It is therefore almost always transmitted by direct sexual contac. The few rare exceptions are infection in infants, who can contract Gonorrhea during vaginal birth and infection of medical personnel through broken skin.

The endocervical canal is the primary site of gonorrheal infection in women, and the urethra and anus is also infected. The vagina is resistant to the infection in adulthood but not before puberty and the disease may be asymptomatic in women. There is a large carrier population, or those people who carry the organism and have no manifestations but can transmit the disease for gonorrhea.

Manifestations include heavy, yellow-green, purulent vaginal discharge or Gonorrhea discharge; cervical erythema, a red, swollen, sore vulva, abnormal menstrual bleeding, and pain in urination and urinary frequency. The most common complication of Gonorrhea in women is inflammation of the fallopian tubes, which can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease. Both of them can produce infertility secondary to scarring and occlusion of the fallopian tubes. The first recognizable manifestations of Gonorrhea in women may arise from pelvic inflammatory disease.

Manifestations of Gonorrhea are usually evident earlier in men than in women. The infection is principally one of the urethra that produces a purulent discharge, pain in urination, and urinary frequency. Complications include epididymitis and inflammation of the prostate, but these are not common with early and complete antibiotic. In addition to the gender specific manifestations, both men and women may have conjunctivitis or inflammation of the pharynx due to oral-genital contact or anal contact.

Disseminated infection, the most serious form of Gonorrhea, results from gonococcal bacteremia and is often manifested by infected arthritis, skin lesions, inflammation of tendons; rarely hepatic, inflammation of the heart, or inflammation of the meninges may occur. Diagnosis of Gonorrhea can be done at a STD clinic and is done through history, physical examination, identification of the gonococcus on a smear, and culture of the exudates from infected areas. Culture with selective culture medium remains the cornerstone of the diagnosis until further studies and discoveries are made.

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