Be Safe.

Gonorrhea

{ gon-uh-ree-uh }

Also Known as:

The Clap

The Drip

The Dose

Not a good time

Wang butter

Gonorrhea is not fun. It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea can be found in the urethra (pee hole), vagina, rectum and throat. In rare cases, it can cause an infection in the eyes, skin and joints.

Risks of Transmission

  • Having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with a person who already has it

Symptoms

Some people may have gonorrhea and not know it because symptoms are mild or there are no symptoms. In women, early symptoms are sometimes so mild that they are mistaken for a bladder infection or a less serious vaginal infection.

Gonorrhea infections that occur in the throat do not usually cause symptoms.

When people do get symptoms, the symptoms usually show up 2 to 7 days after contact. The most common symptoms include:

 

FEMALE

  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the abdomen or in the lower back
  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or between menstrual periods
  • Pain during intercourse

MALE

  • Thick, yellowish-green discharge from penis
  • Testicular pain or swelling
  • Itching penis

BOTH FEMALE AND MALE

  • Painful urination
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, and/or mucus discharge of the rectum
  • Redness, itching, and/or discharges of the eyes (for gonorrhea in the eyes)
  • Throat infection

 

How is it treated?

Gonorrhea is treated USUALLY with dual therapy antibiotics, as a single dose by mouth and a single muscular injection.

It is important to complete all the medication as directed, even if you start to feel better.

Don’t have sex until treatment is complete (7 days after a single dose treatment).

Treatment for partners

Sexual partners who have had contact with an infected person within 60 days of diagnosis require testing and treatment.

Partners are almost always given medication whether they have symptoms or not. If you have not had sex in the past two months, your last partner should be tested.

Complications

If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious health complications.

Gonorrhea can spread from the cervix to the uterus and fallopian tubes, an infection called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This can then lead to chronic pelvic pain, risk of ectopic pregnancies, and infertility.

Gonorrhea can cause testes infection.

During pregnancy, gonorrhea can also cause miscarriage, preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes, or infection. It can be passed from mother to child during birth, causing an eye infection or a severe infection in the blood.

Gonorrhea can cause arthritis, infertility, or severe infection in the blood.

When is it okay to have sex again?

It takes one week for the antibiotics to rid the body of gonorrhea. With that in mind, don’t have unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, anal without a barrier method such as internal and external condoms, dental dams and other barriers such as medical gloves or condom splitting) for 7 days after you and your partner(s) have been treated. The best protection is avoiding sex for 7 days after finishing your treatment.

How to prevent gonorrhea?

There are some simple steps you can take to help prevent the spread of gonorrhea. Not only are you looking after your own health and safety, but the health and safety of your partners and future partners as well:

  • Maintain open and honest communication with a partner. It’s ok to ask your partner about his or her sexual health.
  • Wear a condom. If you’re not sure about a partner’s sexual health or your own, a condom is a must.
  • Get tested regularly.

Other resources

What to expect when
getting tested

Get comfortable with the process.

  • What to bring
    to your
    appointment
  • What will
    you be
    asked?
  • What the
    tests
    involve

What to bring
to your
appointment

Your name and contact details and questions about your sexual history.

  • A form of ID (driver's license, passport)
  • Your health care card

What will
you be
asked?

Questions about your recent sexual history.

When you last had sex, whether it was unprotected, what kind of symptoms you have...

What the
tests
involve

A few different potential tests involve procedures that aren’t a huge deal.

Pelvic exams, swab tests, blood tests and or urine tests

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