The symptoms of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria called “Neisseria gonorrhoeae”. Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted disease, also referred to as “the clap.” It is mostly passed on during sex (oral, anal and vaginal intercourse), it can also be passed on from infected mothers to their children during delivery. Globally, around 78 million new cases of gonorrhea are detected each year.

Not all people infected with gonorrhea notice symptoms. Mostly when symptoms are noticed they appear within 2 weeks after infection.

Symptoms of gonorrhea:

  • Burning sensation during urinating.
  • Greater urgency of urination.
  • Pus-like or bloody discharge from the vagina or penis.
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding or unregular menstrual bleeding.
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain and vomiting.
  • Swollen or painful testicles.
  • Anal discharge.
  • Vulvar swelling.


Complications (when gonorrhea is left untreated)

  • Infertility. In women, untreated gonorrhea can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease risking infertility and pregnancy complications.
    Men with gonorrhea can experience inflamation of the testicles (epididymis). Epididymitis can be treated, left untreated it can lead to infertility.
  • Infection that spreads to the joints. The gonorrhea bacteria can spread through the blood and infect other parts of the body, including the joints. Fever, rash, skin sores, joint pain, swelling and stiffness are possible results.
  • Increased risk of HIV/AIDS. Gonorrhea makes you more susceptible to HIV infection. People who are infected with both HIV and gonorrhea pass both diseases more easily to their partners.
  • Birth complications. Babies who are infected by their mothers during pregnancy can develop sores on the scalp, blindness and life-threatening blood infection. Infected women are at an increased risk for premature labor or stillbirth if left untreated.

When a person has displayed symptoms and has been exposed to a potential risk, std testing for gonnorrhea and adittional diseases is recommended. If testing is positive, the person and their partner will both need to get treatment.


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