Gonorrhea Symptoms and Treatment for Men and Women — Basic Fact Sheet
What are the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea?
Unfortunately, gonorrhea can be asymptomatic which means many people with the infection show no signs and symptoms. And if there are symptoms, they may not appear immediately after being infected, during which time the disease can be growing and spreading through your body.
Because 80 percent of infected women and 10-15 percent of men show no symptoms, they think they’re fine and continue to have unprotected sex which can spread the disease to others. If fact, if you’re infected with gonorrhea, you may have acquired the disease from someone who doesn’t know they’re infected. (If that’s the case, be sure to let them know they should get tested.)
Gonorrhea Symptoms in Women
Gonorrhea Symptoms in Men
Gonorrhea Symptoms for Both Women and Men?
What Is Gonorrhea and How Do You Get It?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection which can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex.
The bacteria infect mucous membranes in the reproductive system (including the cervix, Fallopian tubes, and uterus in women, and the urethra in both women and men.)
But it also infects the mucous membranes at the point of contact such as the mouth, throat, eyes and the anus.
Can you get gonorrhea from oral sex?
You can get gonorrhea by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected (even if they are showing no symptoms.)
If your sex partner is male you can still get gonorrhea even if he does not ejaculate.
Dangers of Gonorrhea?
Ordinarily, if detected quickly, gonorrhea is easy to treat and cure with antibiotics. However, more recently, a super-strain of gonorrhea has developed a resistance to antibiotics. So, it’s always best to prevent it by using protective, safer-sex strategies.
If left untreated, there are serious dangers of gonorrhea:
For Women: If left untreated, gonorrhea can increase the risk of contracting HIV. A gonorrhea infection can scar the Fallopian tubes which could lead to an ectopic pregnancy; it can also scar the uterus and cause a miscarriage. Untreated gonorrhea can also cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), arthritis, and infertility.
For Men: Untreated gonorrhea can increase the risk of contracting HIV; it can scar the urethra, cause inflammation of the prostate, and cause a painful epididymitis in the testicles resulting in infertility.
Additionally: Gonorrhea can spread to the joints and cause serious infections, and to the blood where it can cause deadly infections, especially in infants.
How Soon Can You Test for Gonorrhea after Being Infected?
The incubation period for gonorrhea is 2-6 days after exposure. So wait a week after exposure to test. Testing before incubation has completed could result in a negative (not infected) test-result when, in fact, you could be infected.
Watch this mini-video to see how private testing works at a lab near you.
Where Can You Get Tested ‘Secretly’ for Gonorrhea
(and Other STDs)?
Is Gonorrhea Treatable?
Can It Be Cured?
Yes. Gonorrhea can usually be cured if treated in time with antibiotics. However…
Recently, antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea have been developing quickly which will make it far more difficult to treat. Going forward, don’t count on being cured. Protect yourself with safer-sex and with regular STD-testing. Know the symptoms of all STDs so you can look for them in your partner (they may not realize they have an an STD and are infecting others.)
Remember, even if you are showing symptoms of gonorrhea, you could also have one or more other STD infections which are showing no symptoms. So, if you’re sexually active, it’s best to get a “full panel” test for multiple STDs at least once a year. (More often if you are sexually active and have multiple partners.)
Please Note: The information on this site is not meant to be used as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment nor to substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional.
The purpose of this site is to help you protect your health and your personal privacy by putting you in touch with a national network of medical laboratories who can offer you a variety of confidential medical tests. Depending on the results of your test(s) you may then want to schedule an appointment with your own qualified health professional or visit a medical clinic for consultation and treatment.
GET TESTED SECRETLY? This site is to help you get tested “secretly” — without your family or friends or colleagues or even your doctor knowing. However, if your results come back “positive” for certain STDs (such as HIV) then the laws and regulations determining whom your lab must report that information to varies by state and location.
So be sure to ask the laboratory what happens if your tests come back “positive” — ask what information will be shared and with whom.
To learn more about the complexities of “confidential” and “anonymous” testing and various reporting regulations… Click Here.
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Thanks for getting tested, protecting your health, and for making the world safer by reducing the number of people infected by partners who didn’t know they were spreading a disease.
“Get Tested. Get Treated. Get on with Your Life!”