Enfermedad infecciosa del hombre transmitida por contacto sexual que afecta sobre todo a las membranas mucosas del tracto urogenital.

Se caracteriza por un exudado purulento y está originada por una bacteria, el gonococo (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).

El periodo de incubación es de dos a siete días. La gonorrea es más patente en los varones, en los que se observa un exudado uretral purulento importante. El pus, que al principio es escaso, se convierte en espeso y abundante, y provoca micciones frecuentes acompañadas por lo general de una sensación quemante.

Si la infección alcanza la próstata el paso de la orina queda parcialmente obstruido.

En las mujeres la infección se localiza en la uretra, la vagina o el cuello uterino. Aunque el exudado y la irritación de la mucosa vaginal pueden ser graves, es frecuente que al principio no haya síntomas, o que sean mínimos.

El diagnóstico de la gonorrea se efectúa con rapidez mediante tinción de un frotis del exudado que revela la bacteria causante. En los estadios precoces el tratamiento suele ser eficaz.

Si la enfermedad no se trata, en el hombre los síntomas tempranos pueden disminuir aunque es posible que la infección se extienda a los testículos produciendo esterilidad.

En la mujer no tratada, la infección suele extenderse desde el cuello uterino hacia el útero y las trompas de Falopio, causando una Enfermedad Pélvica Inflamatoria (EPI).

Puede existir dolor intenso, o persistir la infección con pocos o ningún síntoma, lesionando gradualmente las trompas y originando esterilidad.

En ambos sexos el gonococo puede penetrar en la circulación sanguínea, dando lugar a una artritis infecciosa, miocarditis, u otras enfermedades.

En la mujer embarazada la gonorrea se puede trasmitir al lactante durante el parto y, si no se trata, producir una infección ocular grave.

La penicilina es el tratamiento que se suele emplear contra la gonorrea, aunque con el paso de los años se han desarrollado un número creciente de cepas resistentes a la penicilina.

Otros antibióticos eficaces son las tetraciclinas, la espectinomicina, y los más recientes denominados cefalosporinas, una de las cuales, ceftriaxona, puede resolver con una sola inyección la gonorrea no complicada, incluyendo las infecciones resistentes a la penicilina.

No se automedique, consulte a su médico. La información es para consulta y de divulgación para los pacientes, en ningún momento sustituye la consulta médica.


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