causes no long-term problems if it is treated early in the course of the
infection before any complications develop. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to
antibiotics. Treatment is
- A person who has a positive gonorrhea
- Anyone who has had sexual contact in the past 60 days with a
person diagnosed with gonorrhea, whether or not they have symptoms or used
- A newborn whose mother has gonorrhea at the time of
If you are prescribed more than one dose of an
antibiotic, be sure to take your antibiotic exactly as directed. If you miss
doses or don't take the full course of medicine, the gonorrhea infection may
not be cured.
Do not have sexual contact with anyone:
- While you are being
- Until both you and your partner(s) have been tested and
treated. If you are treated for gonorrhea and your sex partner is not, you will
probably become infected again.
If your treatment is a single dose of antibiotic, wait at
least 7 days after taking the dose before having any sexual contact.
Always use a
condom when you have sex. This helps protect you from
sexually transmitted infections.
Treatment if the condition does not get better
Symptoms that do not go away after treatment may be caused by another
gonorrhea infection or treatment failure.
Certain strains of the gonorrhea bacteria have become
resistant to some antibiotics, including quinolones,
penicillin, tetracycline, and sulfa drugs. When bacteria become resistant to an
antibiotic, they no longer can be killed by that medicine.3
If you have been treated for gonorrhea and
don't get better, you may be retested with a
gonorrhea culture to see if there is bacterial
resistance to the antibiotic you were taking. If there is bacterial resistance,
you will need another antibiotic to cure the infection.
What to think about
To prevent reinfection, don't
have sex until any partner that might be infected is tested and
Some people who have
gonorrhea also have
chlamydia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that drug treatment for
gonorrhea also include antibiotics that are effective in treating chlamydia.
For more information, see the topic
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious
complication of gonorrhea that can lead to
infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and
ectopic pregnancy. To prevent PID, prompt treatment of
gonorrhea is important. For more information, see the topic
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) occurs when the
gonorrhea infection spreads to sites other than the
genitals, such as the joints, skin, heart, or blood. Treatment of
requires hospitalization and antibiotic treatment given
intravenously (IV) or into a muscle (intramuscularly,
In the United States, your doctor must report to the state health
department that you have gonorrhea.