an infection spread through sexual contact. In men, it most often infects the
urethra. In women, it usually infects the urethra,
cervix, or both. It also can infect the rectum, anus,
throat, and pelvic organs. In rare cases, it can infect the eyes.
Gonorrhea does not cause problems if you treat it right away. But if it's
left untreated, it can lead to serious problems.
For a woman, untreated gonorrhea can move
into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This can cause
painful scar tissue and inflammation, known as
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause
Sometimes gonorrhea is called the clap, drip, or
A certain kind of bacteria
causes gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a
sexually transmitted infection, or STI. This means it
can spread from one partner to another during vaginal, anal, or oral
A woman who is pregnant can pass the infection to her newborn
Many people have no
symptoms, so they can pass gonorrhea to their sex partners without knowing
If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Pain when you urinate.
- Abnormal discharge from the penis or
Gonorrhea infection in the throat also usually does not
Symptoms in men usually are easier to notice than
symptoms in women. But some men have mild or no symptoms.
the early symptoms may be so mild that they are mistaken for a
bladder infection or a vaginal infection. When an
untreated infection moves into a woman's pelvic organs, symptoms can include
lower belly pain, pain during sex, vaginal bleeding, and a fever.
The time from exposure to gonorrhea until symptoms begin usually is 2 to
5 days. But it may take as long as 30 days before symptoms start.
You can spread gonorrhea even if you don't have symptoms. You are
contagious until you have been treated.
Your doctor will ask
you questions about your past health and your sexual history, such as how many
partners you have. Your doctor may also do a physical exam to look for signs of
Urine or fluid from the infected area will be tested for
gonorrhea. You may also be tested for other sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) at the same time. Testing can be done with a Pap test.
As soon as you find out you have
gonorrhea, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you
notify everyone you've had sex with in the past 60 days. If you have not had
sex in the past 60 days, contact the last person you had sex with.