- An infection caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoea, considered primarily a sexually transmitted disease, but can also be transmitted to the newborn during the birthing process. Gonorrhea is one of the oldest known sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Gonorrhea is NOT transmitted from toilet seats. More than half of women infected with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may include burning or frequent urination, yellowish vaginal discharge, redness and swelling of the genitals, and a burning or itching of the vaginal area. Untreated, gonorrhea can lead to severe pelvic infections in women. Complications in later life can include inflammation of the heart valves, arthritis, and eye infections. Gonorrhea can also cause eye infections in babies born of infected mothers. From 25 to 40 percent of women with gonorrhea are also infected with another bacterial STD, chlamydia. The treatment of gonorrhea is with antibiotics. It is of historical interest that in 1944 the US Public Health Service announced gonorrhea could be cured within 8 hours with penicillin. It is still an important public health problem.
* * *A contagious catarrhal inflammation of the genital mucous membrane, transmitted chiefly by coitus and due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae; may involve the lower or upper genital tract, especially the urethra, endocervix, and uterine tubes, or spread to the peritoneum and rarely to the heart, joints, or other structures by way of the bloodstream. [G. gonorrhoia, fr. gone, seed, + rhoia, a flow]
* * *gon·or·rhea or chiefly Brit gon·or·rhoea .gän-ə-'rē-ə n a contagious inflammation of the genital mucous membrane caused by the gonococcus called also clapgon·or·rhe·al or chiefly Brit gon·or·rhoe·al -'rē-əl adj
* * *gon·or·rhea (gon″o-reґə) [gono-1 + -rrhea] infection due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae, usually a sexually transmitted disease; children in households with infected persons may become infected, and health care workers having contact with infected exudates may contract it. In males it is marked by urethritis with pain and purulent discharge, but in females it is commonly asymptomatic, although it may extend to produce suppurative salpingitis, oophoritis, tubo-ovarian abscess, and peritonitis. Bacteremia occurs in both sexes, resulting in cutaneous lesions, arthritis, and occasionally meningitis or endocarditis. gonorrheal adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.