Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women, but the symptoms can vary between the genders. In women, gonorrhea can often be asymptomatic, meaning that many women may not even realize they have the infection. However, when symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe. To help women recognize the signs of gonorrhea, we’ve compiled a list of six common symptoms that women should be aware of.

1. Unusual Vaginal Discharge
One of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea in women is an unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge may be yellowish or greenish in color and have a strong odor. It may also be thicker or more copious than usual. If you notice any changes in your vaginal discharge, it’s important to get tested for gonorrhea and other STIs.

2. Pain or Burning During Urination
Women with gonorrhea may experience pain or a burning sensation when urinating. This is often a sign of inflammation in the urinary tract, which can be caused by the bacteria that cause gonorrhea. If you experience pain or discomfort while urinating, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for testing and treatment.

3. Abdominal or Pelvic Pain
Gonorrhea can cause inflammation in the pelvic area, leading to pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic region. This pain may be mild or severe and may be accompanied by a feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area. If you experience persistent abdominal or pelvic pain, it’s important to seek medical attention.

4. Painful Intercourse
Women with gonorrhea may experience pain or discomfort during intercourse. This can be caused by inflammation and irritation in the genital area, as well as the presence of the bacteria that cause gonorrhea. If you experience pain during intercourse, it’s important to get tested for gonorrhea and other STIs.

5. Irregular Menstrual Bleeding
Gonorrhea can also affect the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular or abnormal bleeding. This can include heavier or lighter periods than usual, as well as spotting between periods. If you experience any changes in your menstrual bleeding, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for testing and treatment.

6. Sore Throat
In some cases, gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex, leading to a sore throat. Women with gonorrhea may experience a persistent sore throat that doesn’t respond to typical treatments. If you have a sore throat that doesn’t improve, it’s important to get tested for gonorrhea and other STIs.

Overall, it’s important for women to be aware of the symptoms of gonorrhea and to seek testing and treatment if they experience any of these signs. Gonorrhea can be easily treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and an increased risk of HIV infection. If you suspect you may have gonorrhea, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for testing and treatment as soon as possible.

About the author

Kwame Anane