Gonorrhea (Gonococcal Infection)

Gonorrhea (Gonococcal Infection) is is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that produces infections in the male and female genital organs, anus, and throat.

Symptoms

  • Men: You can get gonorrhea in the anus, eyes, mouth, urethra, or throat. You may not notice any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they will vary depending on what part of your body is infected. If you have gonorrhea in the urethra, you might have pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, a discharge from your penis and painful or swollen testicles. If you have gonorrhea in the rectum, you might have itching, soreness, bleeding, a discharge from your rectum, or painful bowel movements. If you have gonorrhea in your throat, you might have a sore throat.
  • Women: You can get gonorrhea in the anus, eyes, mouth, throat, urinary tract, or uterus. You may not notice any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they will vary depending on what part of your body is infected. If you have gonorrhea in the uterus or urinary tract, you might have vaginal bleeding between your periods, pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, or increased vaginal discharge. If you have gonorrhea in the rectum, you might have itching, soreness, bleeding, a discharge from your rectum, or painful bowel movements. If you have gonorrhea in your throat, you might have a sore throat.

Prevention

You can protect yourself and others from gonorrhea by practicing safer sex. (more)

Testing & Diagnosis

In order to diagnose and treat gonorrhea, your doctor will take a detailed sexual history, conduct a thorough physical examination, and order several laboratory tests, including a test for HIV. Your doctor will also give you detailed information about how to prevent transmission of gonorrhea to any of your sexual partners.You should tell your sex partner(s) if you have an STD so that your partner(s) can seek medical attention. People who are diagnosed with an STD may be contacted by public health professionals to make sure that their sex partners are counseled, evaluated, and treated.

In collaboration with the CDC and Office of Population Affairs (OPA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Rhode Island offers an Infertility Prevention Project (IPP) that funds chlamydia and gonorrhea screening and treatment services for low-income, sexually active women attending family planning clinics in Rhode Island. 

Treatment

Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Finish all of the medicine your doctore gives you. Don’t share your medicine with anyone. If you still have symptoms after you finish your medicine, go back to your doctor. You must not have sex until 7 days after both you and your partner have finished all your medications.  If your partner starts treatment after you do, wait to have sex until 7 days after your partner completes treatment.  If your partner is not treated you will be re-infected very quickly.

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