Can Metronidazole Treat Chlamydia And Gonorrhea?

In this article, we will take a close look at the effectiveness of metronidazole, an antimicrobial agent, in treating sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea. We will also explain the diseases caused by these infections, providing a comprehensive understanding of these medical conditions.
Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Fifth year medical student at the Medical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava.

Can metronidazole treat chlamydia?

There is no scientific evidence of metronidazole being effective in chlamydia infection.

Metronidazole is effective against anaerobic bacteria, which chlamydia is not.

Typical treatment for chlamydia includes antibiotics like doxycycline or Azithromycin

Can metronidazole treat gonorrhea?

Metronidazole is not used in treatment for gonorrhea because it has no therapeutic effect.

Many strains of Neisseria gonorrhoea are resistant to metronidazole [1].

Antibiotics recommended for the treatment of gonorrhea are ceftriaxone and spectinomycin. Also, ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone can be used.

What diseases does chlamydia cause?

The two most common chlamydia bacteria are trachomatis and pneumonia.

Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacteria that causes sexually transmitted disease. It can lead to severe complications when left untreated. Chlamydia trachomatis causes many diseases. In women, it leads to:

  • urethritis [2],
  • cervicitis [2],
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) [3].

PID can have serious complications like chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility [4].

In men, Chlamydia trachomatis causes diseases like:

  • epididymitis [2],
  • prostatitis [2].
  • In rare cases, the infection can lead to male infertility [4].

In both men and women, chlamydia infection can also lead to reactive arthritis [4].

A child born to an infected mother can acquire the bacteria during delivery. The infection with chlamydia in newborns can cause conjunctivitis and/or pneumonia [4, 5].

Chlamydia pneumoniae is another species of chlamydia. This bacteria is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia. Chlamydia pneumoniae accounts for up to 15% of community-acquired pneumonia cases [6].

Chlamydia infections have also been associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease [7, 8]. That means that having frequent chlamydia infections can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

What diseases does gonorrhea cause?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can lead to many diseases in women and men.

In both sexes, gonorrhea commonly presents as urethritis [9].

In women, gonorrhea can cause:

  • cervicitis [9],
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) [10, 11]. The complications of an untreated PID can be severe. Among them are prolonged pelvic pain and even infertility [10, 11].

Gonorrhea can lead to obstruction in the fallopian tubes. This can lead to problems with getting pregnant and can also lead to a dangerous ectopic pregnancy [10, 11].

In men, untreated gonorrhea can also lead to complications. Gonorrhea inflammation can lead to:

  • abscesses in the penis,
  • epididymitis,
  • infertility [10, 11].

In rare cases, gonorrhea can cause disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). In this serious condition, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and infect other organs. DGI can lead to arthritis or heart valve damage [12, 10, 11].

It is important to know that gonorrhea can also infect other parts of the body, including the eyes, throat, or anus [10, 11].

When should I see a doctor when infected by gonorrhea or chlamydia?

When you suspect an infection, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Signs that you may be infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia include:

  • pain during urination,
  • discharge from the vagin, penis, or anus,
  • rectal pain or bleeding,
  • enlarged testicles [13].

Sometimes the infection can be symptomatic. Therefore, you need to check your sexual contacts. You should ask them whether they have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease or have the characteristic symptoms.

Prevention

In both gonorrhea and chlamydia infections, the best practice is prevention. Protected sex significantly lowers the risk of infection.

While on treatment, it is recommended that you follow up with your doctor to see whether the treatment is working.

If, after the therapy, the symptoms persist, you should come to see your doctor again. It will be necessary to retest you or change your medications for more suitable ones.

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Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub is in his fifth year as a medical student at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He has special interested in cardiology and in patient-centered medicine. His love for heart health isn't just book-smarts; he wants to know how it works, what it means for our feelings, and how key it is for health and happiness. Jakub thinks real good health care comes from always putting the patient at the centre, treating each person as a whole.