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You can get gonorrhea by:

  • Vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea.
  • A pregnant person with gonorrhea can give the infection to their baby during childbirth.


Gonorrhea often presents no symptoms, but it can cause serious health issues even in the absence of symptoms.

Most women with gonorrhea do not experience any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Symptoms in women may include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods.

Men who have symptoms may experience:

  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis.
  • Painful or swollen testicles (though this is less common).

Rectal infections may either be asymptomatic or cause symptoms in both men and women, including:

  • Discharge.
  • Anal itching.
  • Soreness.
  • Bleeding.
  • Painful bowel movements.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your healthcare provider. Additionally, if your partner has an STD or exhibits symptoms of one, seek medical attention. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning sensation when urinating, or bleeding
between periods.


Gonorrhea can be cured with the appropriate treatment. It is crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and take all the prescribed medicine to completely eliminate the infection. Refrain from sharing medication for gonorrhea with others. It’s important to note that while the medicine can halt the infection, it cannot reverse any permanent damage caused by the disease.

There is growing difficulty in treating certain cases of gonorrhea due to the rise of drug-resistant strains. If you continue to experience symptoms for more than a few days after completing your treatment, it is essential to return to your healthcare provider for further evaluation and possible adjustments to your treatment plan. Timely action can help ensure effective management of the infection and prevent any potential complications.

If left untreated:

If left untreated, gonorrhea can have severe and lasting consequences on your health.

In women, untreated gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may result in the following complications:

  • Formation of scar tissue that can block the fallopian tubes.
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring outside the womb).
  • Infertility, making it difficult to conceive.
  • Long-term pelvic or abdominal pain.
  • In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes connected to the testicles, which, though rare, can potentially lead to infertility.

Moreover, in exceptional cases, untreated gonorrhea can spread to the bloodstream or joints, posing a life-threatening situation.

Additionally, untreated gonorrhea raises the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV during sexual encounters.

Prompt and proper treatment for gonorrhea is crucial to prevent these serious complications and safeguard your overall health. If you suspect you have contracted gonorrhea or are experiencing any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention without delay.