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Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis: Symptoms and Treatment

Bacterial sexually transmitted infections are caused by bacteria entering the body through the skin on skin contact or bodily fluids. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and can cause serious, long-term problems if they are not treated, especially for teenagers and young women.


Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Neisseria gonorrhea (gonococcus bacteriae). This infection is transmitted by sexual contact and is one of the oldest known sexually transmitted diseases.

It is estimated that over one million women are currently infected with gonorrhea, and a significant percentage of female victims will also be infected with chlamydia, another type of bacteria that causes another STD.

Gonorrhea Symptoms

There may be no symptoms, especially in the early stages of the infection, but when women do experience symptoms, it usually includes:

  • burning during urination,
  • frequent urination,
  • a yellowish vaginal discharge,
  • redness and swelling of the genitals, and
  • Vaginal itching.

for gonorrhea treatment, the good news is, this common sexually transmitted disease (STD) is easily treated


Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women. In most cases, it does not cause any symptoms, but when it does produce symptoms and signs, these may not appear for weeks after your infection. Infection of the rectum as a result of Chlamydia can cause rectal pain, bleeding, and discharge from the rectum in both men and women.

Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, so its treatment is usually with antibiotics. After you are treated, try and get retested in three months, even if your partner has been treated as well.


Chlamydia Symptoms in women include:

  • Burning with urination
  • an abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain is sometimes present.
  • Blood in the urine,
  • Urinary urgency (feeling an urgent need to urinate), and
  • Increased urinary frequency can occur.

In men, symptoms, when they occur, can include:

  • A discharge from the penis
  • A burning sensation when urinating,
  • Pain in the testicles sometimes occurs.


Syphilis is a highly contagious disease spread primarily by sexual activities like oral and anal sex.

Rarely, the disease can be passed to another person through prolonged kissing or close bodily contact. This disease is spread from sores, but the vast majority of those sores go unrecognized, and the infected person is often unaware of the disease.

Penicillin is the preferred treatment for syphilis, and early treatment is crucial to prevent the bacteria from spreading to and damaging other organs.

Formation of an ulcer (chancre) is the first stage of syphilis, and there are three stages of syphilis, along with an inactive (latent) stage.  The ulcer develops any time from 2 weeks to 12 weeks after infection, with an average time of 21 days following infection until the first symptoms develop.

Syphilis is highly contagious when the ulcer is present, and if the ulcer is outside of the vagina or on the male’s scrotum, condoms may not prevent transmission of the infection by contact.

In the same way, if the ulcer is in the mouth, kissing the infected individual can spread the infection. The ulcer can resolve without treatment after three to six weeks. However, if the primary stage is not treated, the disease can recur months later as secondary syphilis.

Tertiary syphilis is a systemic stage of the disease and can cause a variety of problems throughout the body. The damage sustained by the body during the tertiary stage of syphilis is severe and can even lead to fatality. Some of these problems include:

  • abnormal bulging of the aorta, resulting in heart problems;
  • the development of large nodules in various organs of the body;
  • infection of the brain, causing a stroke, mental confusion, meningitis, problems with sensation, or weakness (neurosyphilis);
  • sight deterioration
  • Involvement of the ears resulting in deafness.

Read Also: Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)



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