Vaginal itching, burning, vaginal pain, soreness in the vaginal area, cutting, ripping, swelling of the vagina, lumps in and around vagina, ulcers in vagina and vaginal discharge - all these best describe vulvular discomfort. Teen girls or menopausal women - vulvovaginitis, irritating vaginal itch, troublesome vaginal burning causes emotional trauma to women of all ages. Women are more prone to urethral or vaginal infections at one point or another in their lives. So, feminine hygiene is a very important aspect of a woman's life. If compromised, it can lead to serious consequences.
A change in normal vaginal discharge could be due to one or a combination of these conditions.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial disease caused by neisseria gonorrhea bacteria. Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea. The infection can affect any gender of sex and any age group but most prevalent among those from 15 to 30 years of age. Gonorrhea transmission can occur through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted. Besides sexual contact, another method of infection is an infected mother who may pass the gonorrhea to her baby at birth. The bacterium thrives in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract. In women, it's the cervix, the uterus and the fallopian tubes. Gonorrhea can also breed in the urethra of both women and men, as well as in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea
Not everyone who is infected will have indications. Some may be infected for several months without showing any indications. If any, signs and symptoms of gonorrhea will appear within 2 to 10 days after exposure to an infected partner. Symptoms of gonorrhea in women in the genital tract may include:
Advanced symptoms in women may indicate development of Pelvic inflammatory disease. The symptoms of which are cramps and pain, bleeding between menstrual periods, vomiting and fever.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in men in the genital tract may include:
Besides, genital tract gonorrhea can affect other sites in the body. The symptoms vary depending on the infected site.
Rectum: anal itching, pus-like discharge from the rectum and having difficulty during bowel movements.
Eyes: Eye pain, sensitivity to light, pus-like discharge from one or both eyes.
Throat: Sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Joints: The affected joint or joints may be warm, red, swollen and extremely painful while making movements.
Symptoms usually will develop within 2 weeks after exposure. If you experience a burning sensation while urinating or notice a pus-like discharge from penis, vagina or rectum seek medical attention. Even if you do not experience any of the symptoms but is experienced by your partner or if already diagnosed with gonorrhea, contact family physician or a general practitioner. It is also best to seek medical attention if you have had sex with someone who you suspect of having gonorrhea. Abstain from sex until you see your doctor.
Gram stain: Before grain stain test, women are often given a pelvic exam and then sample of discharge from the cervix is collected and is placed on a slide. In men, the sample of fluid is taken from the penis. The sample is stained with a dye. The healthcare provider will use a microscope to look for bacteria on the slide. The test results can be obtained immediately. This test is more accurate for men than women.
Swab of affected area: A swab of your throat, urethra, vagina or rectum may be collected to detect the genes of the bacteria.
Urine test: Helps identify bacteria in your urethra.
Other tests: Other tests to detect sexually transmitted infections are likely to be recommended as gonorrhea increases risk of these infections.
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics (non-penicillin antibiotic such as ceftriaxone). Many people who have gonorrhea also have another sexually transmitted disease (STD) called Chlamydia. Doctors often give a combination of antibiotics to treat both STDs. The affected individual should take the medications as prescribed and completes the course of medication. The medications prescribed by the doctor will stop the infection; it will not repair any permanent damage already done due to the infection. Both the affected individual and the sex partner must be treated for gonorrhea even in the absence of symptoms of gonorrhea.
Hot flashes are one of the most significant clinical features of menopause. It is also called as vasomotor instability. Hot flashes occur during the perimenopause stages or even due to induced or premature menopause conditions. The predominant cause of hot flashes is still under speculation, however hot flashes is associated with the circulatory changes and also changes pertaining to the hypothalamus dysfunction located in the brain. This is due to the sudden withdrawal in the estrogen levels. Hot flashes often result in flushed look on the face due to sudden generation of heat and instant cooling down due to the dilation of blood vessels. Hot flashes can also result in night sweats which cause disturbed sleep patterns. Hot flashes generally occur in the regions of face, neck and chest. Perspiration, tachycardia is also associated with hot flashes. The time lapse of hot flashes lasts for only a few minutes. The duration of hot flashes due to menopause differs from person to person.
Causes of hot flashes
The causes of hot flashes are associated with the diet and lifestyle of an individual. Women who smoke and consume alcohol are at greater risk of developing premature menopause condition associated hot flashes. In addition, high caffeine intake, spicy food, irregular diet habits and also tight and uncomfortable clothing induce the onset of hot flashes. Obesity and sedentary lifestyle can also provoke the onset of hot flashes during menopause. Hot flashes often cause night sweats leading to severe sleep disturbances. This may result in the development of chronic insomnia. Disturbed sleep patterns may affect the digestive functions and also lead many psychological conditions such as depression.
Hot flashes after menopause
Post-menopausal symptoms may lead to variety of complications to women. The level of progesterone at this point drops to zero. The level of estrogens drops to 60 percent leading to health problems such as hot flashes, urinary incontinence, digestive disorders, decreased sex drive, bleeding, vaginal discharge and appearance of facial hair. Although hot flashes after menopause are not predominant, they usually last for a period of two months to two years. This is mainly due to the influence of the hypothalamus which acts as a thermostat of the body. Although hot flashes occur even after menopause, the ability to control them depends upon the individualís lifestyle.
Treating hot flashes
1. Massage, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.
2. Avoiding food that trigger hot flashes such as spicy foods, high fat content etc.
3. Lighter clothing plays a role in controlling the onset of hot flashes.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: January 27, 2023