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Tested positive for Gonorrhea

If you have tested positive for Gonorrhea, it means that you carry the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible, otherwise the risk of long-term complications increases. Please contact your doctor if you have tested positive. Would you like to know what to expect from the treatment? Read all about it on this page.

The treatment of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is treatable with antibiotics. In most cases you will receive a shot with the antibiotic ceftriaxone. This will kill the bacteria that cause Gonorrhea. If ceftriaxone doesn’t work or if you can’t stand this antibiotic, you will be given antibiotics pills. In some cases the pills don’t work due to resistance. In that case a laboratory test is needed to see which antibiotic is best to treat your infection.[1][2]

What if you don’t treat Gonorrhea on time?

Fortunately, gonorrhea is easy to treat, but it’s important to do so on time. This prevents the infection from getting worse.

In men, gonorrhea can lead to inflammation of the prostate or the epididymis (a long, coiled tube that is attached to each of the testicle). This can cause pain in the genitals. An inflammation can also cause swelling in the scrotum.

In women, the bacteria can go further and further inside. This can cause inflammation higher in the pelvis, for example in the uterus or fallopian tubes (the tubes that connect the ovaries to the utherus). This may cause fever and pain in the lower abdomen. If an inflammation of the fallopian tubes is not detected in time, scar tissue can develop in the long term. A lot of scar tissue may cause an ectopic pregnancy or infertility, but luckily that is not very common.[1]


Alert partners

After you have tested positive for Gonorrhea, it is important to alert your sexual partners as soon as possible. They may also be infected, even if they may not have any symptoms. Use the following guidelines for alerting your partners:

  • For Gonorrhea of ​​the penis with complaints, such as pain when urinating or discharge: Warn all partners since the start of your complaints and the 4-6 weeks before.
  • In case of Gonorrhea of ​​the penis without complaints or chlamydia of the vagina: Warn all partners of the last six months.
  • For oral or anal Gonorrhoea: Consult your GP.[3]

Do you find it difficult to tell your sexual partners that you have an STD? You can inform your partner(s) anonymously if you have tested positive via the results portal.


After the treatment

It is best not to have sex for a week after you get the antibiotic shot. This prevents you from (re)infecting a sexual partner. Do you still have symptoms a week after the treatment? Consult your doctor. Usually, you will then be given antibiotics pills.[1] If you still have symptoms afterwards, it is advised to also do a Mycoplasma genitalium STD test, as the symptoms of Gonorrhea and Mycoplasma genitalium are very similar.[4]


Sources

  1. RIVM. (2020, January). Gonorroe. https://lci.rivm.nl/richtlijnen/gonorroe
  2. Thuisarts.nl. (2021, March 2). Ik heb gonorroe. https://www.thuisarts.nl/gonorroe/ik-heb-gonorroe
  3. RIVM. (2018, December). Soa en hiv partnermanagement.  https://lci.rivm.nl/draaiboeken/partnermanagement
  4. Jensen, J. S. (2016). 2016 European guideline on Mycoplasma genitalium infections. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 1650–1656. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13849

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