Gonorrhea - Symptoms
It is fairly common for
gonorrhea to cause no symptoms, especially in women.
The incubation period, the time from exposure to the bacteria until symptoms
develop, is usually 2 to 5 days. But sometimes symptoms may not develop for up
to 30 days.
Gonorrhea may not cause symptoms until the infection
has spread to other areas of the body. See the What Happens section of this
Symptoms in women
In women, the early symptoms are
sometimes so mild that they are mistaken for a
bladder infection or vaginal infection. Symptoms may
- Painful or frequent
- Anal itching, discomfort, bleeding, or
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
vaginal bleeding during or after sex or between periods.
- Irregular menstrual bleeding.
- Lower abdominal
Fever and general tiredness.
- Swollen and
painful glands at the opening of the vagina (Bartholin glands).
- Painful sexual intercourse.
Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) (rare).
Symptoms in men
In men, symptoms are usually
obvious enough that they will cause a man to seek medical treatment before
complications occur. But some men have mild or no symptoms and can unknowingly
transmit gonorrhea infections to their sex partners. Symptoms may
- Abnormal discharge from the penis (clear or
milky at first, and then yellow, creamy, and excessive, sometimes
- Painful or frequent urination or urethritis.
itching, discomfort, bleeding, or discharge.
- Sore throat
- Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) (rare).
Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) occurs when the
gonorrhea infection spreads to sites other than the
genitals, such as the joints, skin, heart, or blood. Symptoms of