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Gonorrhea Overview

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What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex. Gonorrhea infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive system, including the cervix, Fallopian tubes, and the uterus in women, and the urethra in women and men. It also infects the mucous membranes at the site of contact, including those found in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus. The CDC estimates that there are 820,000 U.S. cases of gonorrhea annually.

How do you contract gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can be transmitted through any unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sexual intercourse with an infected partner. Transmission can occur during sexual intercourse even if there is no ejaculation. Gonorrhea can also be spread from a mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

Common signs and symptoms of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea does not always show symptoms in men or women. It is possible to be infected and not know it. Gonorrhea symptoms in men include unusual discharge from the penis, itching, and painful urination. Gonorrhea symptoms in women can be mild or absent. If present, symptoms in women include painful urination, fever, unusual vaginal discharge between periods, vomiting and stomach pain.

How to get tested for gonorrhea

To test for gonorrhea, we use an FDA-approved urine test called the Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA) test. The NAA test is recommended by CDC and is included in our 10-Test Panel, Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Panel, and our individual gonorrhea testing package. Our CLIA-certified testing centers will test the urine sample for the N. gonorrhoeae bacteria.

Where to get tested for gonorrhea

We have more than 4,500 testing centers throughout the United States. To find a local testing center near you, simply go to our STD test center location page and enter your zip code. You will be given a list of nearby centers. Choose a location and complete your order. You can also call us at 1-800-456-2323 or use our live chat feature and one of our certified health specialists will be happy to assist you.

Effects of untreated gonorrhea

Not getting treated for gonorrhea can result in serious health complications. Untreated gonorrhea makes you susceptible to HIV and other STDs. In men, untreated gonorrhea can result in a painful infection of the testicles, inflammation of the prostate, infertility, and urethral scarring. In women, untreated gonorrhea might result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to dangerous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and infertility.

How to cure gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is an easily curable sexually transmitted disease. Antibiotics are available to treat this bacterial STD. If you test positive for gonorrhea, our certified health specialists will connect you with one of our doctors who will discuss your positive test results with you. The doctor will recommend what steps you need to take next to alleviate or manage your STD and may prescribe treatment.

Medically Reviewed by

on Sep 19, 2018 - Written by STDcheck Editorial Team.