Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is caused by gonococcal bacteria. It usually starts in the lower urinary and genital areas in both men and women. If it's not treated, it can spread upward in the genital tract and cause sterility. It can also enter the blood stream and cause severe arthritis and endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart). Thus it's very potentially very serious. Happily, however, it's easily treated if it's caught early, through antibiotics such as penicilin.

If gonorrhea in a woman continued untreated, the symptoms may diminish. But the disease will continue unabated. The whole pelvis may eventually become inflamed. This syndrome is known as pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Even after this inflammation dies down, chronic difficulties may continue, including extensive damage to the reproductive tract.

If a man does not receive prompt treatment, the infection spreads to the prostate gland and testicle. Here it can cause sufficient damage to produce sterility. In time the urethra can become narrowed, making it difficult for a man to urinate. If the infection is severe, men can also suffer arthritis as well as heart damage.
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