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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Gonorrhea - Topic Overview


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.

Antibiotics are used to treat gonorrhea. It's important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.

Getting treatment as soon as possible helps prevent the spread of the infection and lowers your risk for other problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

Many people who have gonorrhea also have chlamydia, another STI. If you have gonorrhea and chlamydia, you will get medicine that treats both infections.

Avoid all sexual contact while you are being treated for an STI. If your treatment is a single dose of medicine, you should not have any sexual contact for 7 days after treatment so the medicine will have time to work.

Having a gonorrhea infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.

Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.

It's easier to prevent an STI like gonorrhea than it is to treat it.

  • Use a condom every time you have sex. Latex and polyurethane condoms keep out the viruses and bacteria that cause STIs.
  • Don't have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you. Every time you add a new sex partner, you are being exposed to all of the diseases that all of that person's partners may have.
  • Be responsible. Don't have sex if you have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
  • Wait to have sex with a new partner until both of you have been tested for STIs.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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