Gonorrhea Symptoms

What is Gonorrhea?

  • Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is very easily spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person and other types of unprotected sexual contact.
  • Gonorrhea can infect a person’s penis, vagina, urethra, anus, cervix or throat.
  • There are over 700,000 new cases of Gonorrhea each year.
  • The infection is often referred to as “the drip” or “the clap.”
  • Gonorrhea can also pass from an infected pregnant woman to her baby during birth. Babies are often given eye special eye drops to prevent and treat the infection directly after birth however if they contract Gonorrhea, they can still suffer from blindness, joint infection or life threatening blood infection
  • Untreated Gonorrhea can also cause premature delivery and still birth.
  • Sexually active teens and young adults are the most likely candidates for contracting Gonorrhea.
What are the symptoms?

Most of the time, there are no visible signs or symptoms of Gonorrhea so it is difficult to tell if you actually have this sexually transmitted infection. Getting frequently tested is the only way to know for sure especially if you aren’t exhibiting many symptoms. Gonorrhea symptoms and signs are often times similar to that of other STDs or regular infection, so it may go unnoticed or ignored until there is severe damage. Four out of five women infected with Gonorrhea do not show any symptoms of the disease. One out of 10 men do not exhibit any visible symptoms while infected with Gonorrhea.

Other symptoms include:
  • Abdominal pain and throwing up or nausea
  • Bleeding or spotting in between period cycles
  • Fever
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Swelling and tenderness of the vulva
  • Yellow or greenish discharge
  • Itching on or around the anus
  • Sore throat
  • Gonorrhea symptoms usually begin within the first 14 days of infection if they show at all.
Treatment and prevention:
  • Antibiotics are typically prescribed to easily treat Gonorrhea. However, drug-resistant strains of Gonorrhea are becoming more and more frequent and are more difficult to treat.
  • If you test positive for Gonorrhea it is a good idea to get tested for Chlamydia and other STDs as well since infections like Chlamydia often get transferred along with Gonorrhea.
  • Make sure and take the entire prescription of antibiotics as prescribed even if the symptoms get better or go away. Taking the antibiotics correctly will help make sure the infection does not return.
  • Get tested again about three or four months after treatment to make sure the infection has gone away entirely.
  • Make sure each of your sexual partners are also treated before resuming any kind of sexual activity. Otherwise, you can contract the disease again from them even if they did not have it in the first place, they probably contracted it from you.
  • Frequent, routine testing if you have sex with multiple or new partners is one of the best ways to prevent contracting an STD like Gonorrhea especially since it is not as common for symptoms to ever become present.
Just because you are not exhibiting symptoms does not mean you are free and clear of a Gonorrhea infection. If you have had unprotected sex with partners who may have been infected, you are at risk. It is important for sexually active teens to remember that the best way to find out to take advantage of early treatment and to avoid spreading it to other sexual partners, is to get tested frequently and to practice safe sex.
Sources: cdc.gov, plannedparenthood.org