In women, gonorrhea symptoms are usually undetectable, extremely mild or often confused for other conditions. If left untreated, gonorrhea can spread into the uterus or Fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID might lead to infertility and an increased risk of ectopic (or tubal) pregnancy. Consider gonorrhea testing as part of your routine STD testing, especially if you are pregnant or at risk of contracting an STD.
About 50 percent of men with gonorrhea do not experience any symptoms at all. If symptoms do present themselves, it is often in the form of painful urination or a yellow or green tinted white discharge from the penis. Less common symptoms include itching or burning around the urethra. Other symptoms are often mild and unnoticeable. An untreated gonorrhea infection can lead to serious complications like intense testicular or scrotal pain (epididymitis).
Although some people do not experience any gonorrhea symptoms, they may appear 10 days after being exposed to the gonorrhea bacterium. Typically gonorrhea symptoms can be mild or confused with a long-lasting flu. In some cases, symptoms may be severe and lead to serious complications such as PID for women and epididymitis for men.
Some health complications, like pelvic inflammatory disease for women, are not symptomatic of gonorrhea, but are a serious health complication. You should seek medical attention if you feel sick, have a fever or pelvic pain, or experience pain during sex.
There are many reasons to treat gonorrhea infection including the risk of DGI. Also known as gonococcal arthritis, DGI is caused by the spread of gonorrhea to the body, including the blood, skin, heart, or joints. This rare condition occurs in only 1 out of 100 people infected with gonorrhea, but DGI can be deadly. DGI can develop as soon as 2-14 days after you are infected with gonorrhea. Symptoms usually include chills, fever, joint pain or swelling, painful wrist and heel tendons, skin rash, and symptoms of meningitis (such as headaches, stiff and painful neck, vomiting, confusion and seizures). Our doctors recommend seeking medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms in order to avoid any serious or deadly complications.