Gonorrhea and chlamydia are bacterial infections that can be acquired by sexual contact or also vertical transmission from mother to child during childbirth. Both infections affect the same parts of the body and have many similarities, but they present some differences that we will try to explain in this article.
As you know, gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and has an incubation period of 2 to 30 days .
In general, the symptoms of gonorrhea are more alarming than those of chlamydia.
In women, gonorrhea may have no symptoms, but when there are symptoms these include vaginal discharge , abdominal pain and pain in sexual intercourse and if left untreated can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and septic abortions .
In men, the main symptom is purulent urethral discharge and itching when urinating . If left untreated it can cause serious complications like epididymitis, prostatitis and urethritis .
In men and women, if gonorrhea is not treated, it can affect the heart (infective endocarditis) and joints .
For its part, Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and has an incubation period of one week to fifteen days .
Chlamydia causes mainly genital and ocular infections and is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world.
The genital symptoms are mild and often go unnoticed for months
In men the most common symptom is whitish and scarce urethral discharge (urethritis). Chlamydia cause urethritis and epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis) in men
In women it can be asymptomatic and when it presents symptoms sometimes they are so slight that usually goes unnoticed. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women .
In men and women, if chlamydia is not treated can be a cause of sterility.
Approximately 50% of people infected with gonorrhea are also infected with chlamydia. At present, the recommended treatment usually covers both infections with the combination of Ceftriaxone 500 mg (intramuscular) and Azithromycin 2g (oral) both in a single administration.
Table of differences between gonorrhea and chlamydia
|Caused by||Neisseria gonorrhoeae||Chlamydia trachomatis|
|symptom||Women: May be asymptomatic, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Men: Purulent urethral discharge, epididymitis, prostatitis
|The symptoms are usually milder than those of gonorrhea.
Women: May be asymptomatic. When there are mild symptoms, it usually goes unnoticed.
Men: Scarce and whitish discharge, lighter than gonococcal.
|Diagnosis||Contact <5 days
TAAN (Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques)
|Contact 7-15 days.
Exclude gonorrhea by Gram and culture.
IFD, Cell culture in
|Treatment||Ceftriaxone 500 mg IM + Azithromycin 2 g VO (to cover chlamydia)||Azithromycin 2 g VO
Alternate: Doxycycline 100 mg Ov twice daily for 1 week
(This treatment would only cover chlamydia)