When a 20-year-old Dallas, Texas woman went to the hospital for a bumpy rash on her upper body, she was told that she had a sexually transmitted disease.
The case, which was published in the recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, showed the woman came to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with complaints of a rash on her body along with pain in her ankles, a fever and muscle aches.
Doctors conducted an array of tests to find out she was positive for gonorrhea, a common STD infection for individuals between 15 and 24 years of age. The woman allegedly informed doctors she recently had a new sexual encounter two weeks before she noticed symptoms.
Doctors, in their case review, said the patient had mild swelling and pain in her right ankle and both ankles had tenosynovitis. According to the review, the doctors suspected gonorrhea before getting tests to confirm it.
Gonorrhea, commonly known as “the clap” is a sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women, usually leading to infections in the genitals, mouth and rectum. The majority of people get the disease after having sex with an infected partner.
Men with gonorrhea may experience painful and burning urination, swollen testicles and penis discharge (white, green or yellow). Women’s symptoms for the STD isn’t as obvious, and may not even be apparent. According to the CDC, women who have symptoms tend to experience mild ones and believe it’s a vaginal or bladder infection. Women with untreated gonorrhea could have serious complications such as joint pain, skin rashes and infertility.
Women who do have symptoms may also have a burning sensation when they urinate, bleeding between periods, have more vaginal discharge, etc.
Doctors prescribed antibiotics to the Texas woman who, after three months, felt better and had no longer had joint pain or skin lesions.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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