Tags: Arthritis | gonococcal arthritis | sex | joint pain

Gonococcal Arthritis: Sex and Joint Pain

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2016 12:28 PM

Gonococcal arthritis causes inflammation of the joints in people who contract gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection. Left untreated, the disease results in persistent joint pain, which can impair everday activity as well as sex.

The condition more often affects women than men and it is more commonly found in teen girls who are sexually active, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Gonococcal arthritis usually affects joints and includes skin rashes. Inflammation tends to concentrate in the knees, ankles, or wrists. In less common cases, the disease spreads bacteria through the blood and causes infection of more than one joint.

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Joint pain that lasts for one to four days or pains in the hands or wrists from inflammation of the tendons are among the symptoms. Other symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain or burning during urination, and fever. Skin rashes might show up as slightly raised sores that are pink or red. The sores may later appear purple or contain pus.

Pain during sexual intercourse, pelvic pain, and discharges from the vagina or penis are also symptoms, according to Healthline. Babies can contract the disease from their mothers during childbirth.

Doctors may order tests requiring various tissue samples after symptoms are described to determine if the patient has gonococcal arthritis. Tests may include taking throat cultures, tissue samples from the cervix, and urine or blood samples.

Sometimes there are no symptoms from a gonorrhea infection or people are embarrassed to see a doctor when symptoms appear, making the disease difficult to diagnose and treat, Healthline notes.

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Treatment includes taking antibiotics. Symptoms usually improve within one to two days and patients can expect to fully recover, according to the NIH. A follow-up visit to the doctor after seven days is usually recommended to make sure the infection has been cured.

Because gonococcal arthritis results from a sexually transmitted infection, abstinence is the only sure method of prevention. The risk of contracting gonorrhea is reduced when having a monogamous relationship with a person who does not have the STI.

Practicing safe sex, such as using a condom during sexual activity, also reduces the risk for men and women.
  
The Centers for Disease Control reports that gonorrhea is "the second most commonly reported communicable disease," however, Healthline notes that gonococcal arthritis is "a rare complication of the the sexually transmitted infection."

While gonococcal arthritis is generally curable, the CDC found that the bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) responsible for gonorrhea infections is becoming more drug-resistant, and future outbreaks may result in permanent joint pain or worse for gonorrhea patients if they cannot be treated.

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Gonococcal arthritis causes inflammation of the joints in people who contract gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection. Left untreated, the disease results in persistent joint pain, which can impair everday activity as well as sex.
gonococcal arthritis, sex, joint pain
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2016-28-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 12:28 PM
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