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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.

  • How is gonorrhea spread?

    You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.

  • How can I reduce my risk of getting gonorrhea?

    If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting gonorrhea:

    • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STI test results;
    • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
  • Am I at risk for gonorrhea?

    Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

  • How do I know if I have gonorrhea?

    Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, men who do have symptoms, may have:

    • A burning sensation when urinating;
    • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis;
    • Painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common).

    Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

    Symptoms in women can include:

    • Painful or burning sensation when urinating;
    • Increased vaginal discharge;
    • Vaginal bleeding between periods.

    Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include:

    • Discharge;
    • Anal itching;
    • Soreness;
    • Bleeding;
    • Painful bowel movements.
  • Can gonorrhea be cured?

    Yes, gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. It is becoming harder to treat some gonorrhea, as drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing. If your symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, you should return to a health care provider to be checked again.

    Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV.