Complications of Gonorrhea

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The following complications may develop if gonorrhea is not treated: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Infertility, Spread of infection, Blindness of newborns

Complications may develop as a result of an infection with gonorrhea even if no symptoms or signs were experienced. That is why it is very important for everyone who is at risk to be tested for gonorrhea. Early treatment can prevent complications. The following complications may develop if gonorrhea is not treated:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs in women with untreated gonorrhea. Pelvic inflammatory disease causes a woman’s fallopian tubes to block which may lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Pelvic Inflammatory disease also causes chronic pelvic pain. If a man is diagnosed with gonorrhea it is important that his female partner is also treated to prevent her from developing pelvic inflammatory disease.

  • Infertility
  • Gonorrhea can be a cause of infertility in women and in men. This means that when the infected individuals try to have a baby it will be very difficult or impossible to conceive because gonorrhea may have caused them to become infertile.

  • Spread of infection
  • The infection may also spread to other areas of the genital-urinary system and in rare cases gonorrhea may even spread into the patient’s blood stream or joints. This causes chronic pain and permanent damage to structures of the body.

  • Increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Having gonorrhea puts a person more at risk to contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). It also makes a person more susceptible to getting other sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Blindness of newborns
  • As mentioned earlier in this article, if babies are born to infected mothers they may develop permanent blindness.