Gonorrhea is a common STI caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is spread from person to person through unprotected oral, anal and/or vaginal sex or through sharing of sex toys.
It can take 2 - 7 days or longer after exposure for gonorrhea symptoms to appear. Many people who are infected with gonorrhea don't have any symptoms, or their symptoms are so mild they can be mistaken for something else.
Women might experience:
Men might experience:
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by taking a swab from a female's cervix or the tip of a male's penis, from the throat (for oral sex) or from the anus (for anal sex). Testing for these infections can also be done using a special urine test. Do not urinate (pee) for 1 hour before giving a urine sample.
Some types of gonorrhea are more difficult to treat than others. The best treatment for gonorrhea is given as an injection (needle) AND pills. If you do not take the injection, the gonorrhea may not be completely gone. You may still be able to spread the infection to your sex partners.
Do not have sexual (oral, vaginal, anal) contact, even with a condom, during treatment and for at least 7 days after you have finished taking the medication(s).
Your partner(s) must also be tested and treated at the same time so you don't re-infect one another.
Left untreated, gonorrhea:
It’s important to know that your infection is cured. Your health-care provider will tell you when to return for a follow-up test. Depending on which tests you need, you’ll be asked to return 1-6 weeks after finishing the medication. If you’re menstruating, you shouldn’t be retested until your period ends.
Both males and females can reduce the risk of contracting gonorrhea by:
Pregnant women should be screened and treated if necessary to prevent gonorrhea eye infections in their newborns.