Gonorrhea is one of the leading sexually transmitted infections around the globe. Gonorrhea symptoms usually include pelvic pain, pain or burning sensation while peeing, and an unusual discharge from the genitals.
While gonorrhea is an easily curable STI, the genital discharge associated with it can last for days, even after proper treatment. In most cases, gonorrheal discharge can last up to a week after starting treatment – sometimes even longer. The persistence of genital discharge is attributed mainly to the existing "damage" caused by the infection, which can take several days to recover fully.
HOW LONG DO GONORRHEA SYMPTOMS LAST AFTER STARTING TREATMENT?
Gonorrhea is a common STI in the United States. It's caused by a bacteria known as Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. It’s usually only localized to the genital area and can cause similar disease patterns in both men and women.
Common gonorrhea symptoms include pelvic pain, rectal pain, and a burning sensation when peeing. Women can also experience irregularities in their periods, including heavy menstrual bleeding and irregular period cycles. However, the most common symptom of this infection is an unusual genital discharge.
The genital discharge associated with gonorrhea can be milky white or bloody in women and white, yellowish, or green in men. This discharge is often problematic as it appears without any stimulation and has a putrid odor.
Gonorrhea is a completely curable disease, though, and a single dose of Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin is usually enough to cure this condition. However, the symptoms associated with gonorrhea can last up to several days, even after starting treatment.
While symptoms like burning micturition, pelvic pain, and rectal pain should go away in 2 to 3 days after starting treatment, genital discharge usually takes longer to resolve. Studies have shown that most people with gonorrhea who were started on treatment still showed persistent genital discharge for up to a week.
WHY DOES GENITAL DISCHARGE PERSIST EVEN AFTER STARTING TREATMENT?
Genital discharge indicates all the damage done to the local cells in your genital tract by the disease-causing agent. Once treatment has started, the antibiotics start getting rid of the bacteria behind this nasty infection. Once the pathogens have been inoculated, the damaged genital tract starts to recover, and the body sheds damaged cells to make room for new ones.
This damage, like damage to any other part of the body, usually requires several days to recover fully, even after the inciting agent has been killed off. Therefore, it is perfectly normal to have persistent genital discharge even after you have received your antibiotics for gonorrhea.
If the discharge persists for longer than a week or other symptoms like a burning sensation when peeing last longer than they should, you should contact your health care provider. Persistence of these symptoms for longer than normal could indicate a more serious condition.
You should also refrain from having sexual intercourse when your symptoms persist. If you have had any or all symptoms, having sexual intercourse may put your partner at risk of acquiring gonorrhea as well.
Your healthcare provider is always the best source of information regarding any health conditions that you might have. Therefore, always contact your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare providers for any questions that you might have.