What is gonorrhea? | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy
- Articles, Blog

What is gonorrhea? | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

– [Voiceover] Of the many
sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, gonorrhea is
the second most common. The most common STI is chlamydia. Chlamydia, and we’ll talk
more about chlamydia later. Right now, let’s focus
on gonorrhea and why these two happen together. These two diseases often occur together for two reasons. First, they have similar risk factors, which include things like having multiple sexual partners and/or having frequent unprotected sex. The other reason is that
infection with one of these bugs makes your body susceptible
to a second infection by dampening the immune system. So I promise we’ll go into more detail about chlamydia later, but
for now let’s talk more about gonorrhea. It’s caused by a bug referred
to as neisseria gonorrhoeae, and the reason why we call
gonorrhea a sexually transmitted infection is because it
undergoes this process referred to as transmission where it moves from one person to another by several mechanisms. Most commonly, gonorrhea will
be transmitted through sex, which can include oral sex,
vaginal sex, or even anal sex. Another important mechanism
of transmission includes childbirth and we’ll talk more
about the outcomes of that in a minute, so these
are the main ways that gonorrhea can be transmitted. Let’s move this off to the
side and let’s focus instead on my poor friend over
here who’s going to have all the different signs and
symptoms a person can get with gonorrhea. Now because we said the
main way gonorrhea spreads from one person to the other is by sex, let’s start by focusing
on signs and symptoms at our sexual organs. So here you can see on the
left I have female genitalia drawn out and on the right side, we have male genitalia drawn here. If we were to imagine
our gonorrhea infection, so I’ll use this as sort
of a way to mimic gonorrhea as it spreads, perhaps
you can have a female infecting a male with gonorrhea and so, because the penis is used during sex, that can actually seed
or spread up the urethra. This yellow line here,
that is your urethra. We’ll go into this in more
detail in another video but the gonorrhea bacteria
will latch on to the walls in your urethra. Your urethra is lined by epithelial cells, and so this bacterium
will enter those cells. That will trigger an immune response. Your white blood cells will
detect that something is wrong and they’ll come up to the
urethra through the blood stream to attack wherever the
gonorrhea has spread. So if the gonorrhea has
only entered a single epithelial cell in your
urethra, it’ll cause that cell to die in a process that’s
referred to as apoptosis. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s where the body specifically
decides to kill a cell because it’s doing something
wrong or it’s been infected like in this case. Now in the ideal world, the
white blood cell will kill off this one epithelial cell in the
urethra that’s been infected and we’d be done with the infection, but often times there
are multiple organisms that kind of spread
along the urethral tract, which cause more white
blood cells to come from the blood stream to attack
the bacteria or the cells that are infected and as a
result you get inflammation. Inflammation of the urethra causing things like pain when you urinate, maybe some burning that’s there as well, and general discomfort. Because of the bacterium,
your urethra will cause you a lot of pain and you’ve got what’s referred to as urethritis. If the gonorrhea spreads
up here to your prostate, this pink thing is your prostate,
you can get what’s called prostatitis, and this inflammatory
process that’s occurring along the way causes white
blood cells that may die and epithelial cells that
will also go undergo apoptosis with some of the gonorrheal
bacteria to sluff off and fall through and come
out from the urethral meatus or the end of the penis. And you can actually see
pus coming out of the penis. Now just like the epithelial
cells within your urethra, gonorrhea can also effect
the epithelial cells that line the anus or even higher up here in the rectum. As a result, you might not see
pus coming out from the anus, and instead you might see
infections of the cells that line the anus or of the anus. So this skin infection you’d see here are referred to as pustules. Pustules. Again, that’s from the
gonorrheal bacteria infecting the epithelial cells of the anus. You can also have pustules
occur in the female, so let’s label that right
here as well as urethritis, but because of the difference in anatomy between the male and the female, you may also see an
infection of the vagina, or vaginitis. More commonly though,
infected women will have pain during sex because of pressure
that’s put on the cervix due to the gonorrhea that’s spread there causing cervicitis. Cervicitis. Gonorrhea can spread even
further up from the cervix through the uterus and actually come out the fallopian tubes to cause an infection within the pelvic cavity,
which is why it’s called pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Now from the genital
tract, gonorrhea can spread into the blood stream and go elsewhere in the body and quite classically, it goes to your joints
like the knee over here to cause arthritis by
infecting the joint capsule, so down below here you
can see the joint capsule. Here’s bone, here’s articular cartilage, and this is sonovial
fluid or just some fluid in between the two bones in the joint. So if gonorrhea spreads here, think about what else is
gonna come right after it. White blood cells. Remember, they’re going to come chasing after the gonorrhea and
they’re going to cause inflammation and if you
notice in this picture, there’s not a lot of
space between the two sets of articular cartilage and the bones here. If too many white blood cells
get into the sonovial cavity, and cause inflammation,
you’re going to have a more difficult time using that joint which leads to pain in the
knee and difficulty walking. Left untreated, gonorrhea can also spread to the central nervous system. Gonorrhea can infect the
lining around the brain and the spinal cord. This lining is referred to as
the meninges; the meninges. An infection of the meninges
is referred to as meningitis. Menigitis. Unfortunately, gonorrheal
menigitis is more common in children than it is adults. Speaking of children, I mentioned earlier that you can spread
gonorrhea through childbirth. An infected mother can
spread the infection if undetected to her
child and very early on, you would know if a child
is infected with gonorrhea if they look like this. You’ll notice that the baby may have this very signature
crusting of the eyes that’s referred to as
gonococcal opthalmia, which is just to say that
you have an opthalmic or an eye infection of gonorrhea. This baby can also have a
variety of other issues related to the gonorrhea, such as
menigitis, as we talked about or even pneumonia, which is
why neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus as one of
the bugs pregnant women are often screened for and treated for before they give birth
to decrease the odds of this sort of thing happening.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

67 thoughts on “What is gonorrhea? | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

  1. Just love your videos
    Thanks a lot
    Please make a video on protozoans –their classes , life cycles and diseases

  2. Roses are red
    Voilets are blue
    I went to the pizzeria
    and came back with gonorrhea

  3. u mean like having multiple sex partner and having unprotected sex increase the risk factor of coming in contact with someone that has the disease, right?

  4. Well I got tested for gonorrhoea today (in the throat only apparently, been giving away too many BJs :p) and I have NO SYMPTOMS WHAT SO EVER, I'm getting some antibiotics to treat it tomorrow. Guys, if you 're reading this; and you're worried about symptoms, GO GET TESTED. There is no real way of knowing you have something till you get tested! (I'm proof of this). Symptom matching any diseases and infections online (especially sexually transmitted ones) is pointless because many of these disorders share similar symptoms (or no symptoms at all, like me :p).

  5. STD's are a very serious matter which requires education on the topic to begin at an early age. Here's a video that explores a technique using pop culture and humor to start the conversation with our youth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=773T0gk3_yk&t=7s

  6. I need some help —- I was given Ceftriaxone / Rocephin shot for suspected STI / UTI and I took a hot bath which caused my testicles to swell.


  7. I had sex with this girl a month ago and just yesterday I started getting a sore throat and few days ago, some fluid started coming out from my tip. I also got a fever for a day and I some stomach problems a week ago but that’s gone already. I asked her if she has something and she said that she’s only had sex with one person and that she had been with him for years and years. The last time she had sex was about 7-8 months ago and for me about a year ago. What are my odds of having this? I’ve heard about UT infections and I did had some discomfort while peeing for a few days but it’s gone away already.

  8. That's why in World War 2, military personnel were warned about the dangers of this. (since soldiers most likely to rape women)

  9. I just got tested and i got gonorrhea. Is it a very dangerous disease? I feel like it's the end of world for me. Doctor give me antibiotics treatment. But i still feeling depressed by it. It's only take one mistake to get this disease.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *