Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the gram-negative bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Although it is mostly transmitted by sexual contact it can also be acquired by contact with infected exudates such as those that occur in neonatal children at birth or by infants in households with infected inhabitants.
In males, the disease is marked by urethritis, painful urination, and purulent discharge from the penis, and testicular pain. Females with gonorrhoea are often asymptomatic. When symptoms are present, they experience burning with urination, vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, or pelvic pain. The infection may also extend to produce suppurative salpingitis, oophoritis, tubo ovarian abscess, and peritonitis. Untreated gonorrhea in females may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease whereas in males, to the inflammation of the epididymis. In both males and females, gonorrhoea may spread to joints (and cause arthritis), skin, and, although rarely, to heart (valves) or brain when these bacteria reach them by way of bloodstream.
Word origin: Latin gonorrhoia, Greek gonórrhoia, gónos (“sperm, seed, offspring”) + rhoía (“flow”)
- gonorrhoeal (adjective: of, or relating to, gonorrhea)