Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea Overview
Gonorrhea Treatment

Gonorrhea Testing

Gonorrhea Testing


Gonorrhea Quick Facts

Type of STD:

  • Bacterial Infection, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

How Common is Gonorrhea:

  • About 300,000 cases reported in U.S., closer to 700,000 estimated.

Is Gonorrhea Curable?

  • Yes.

Gonorrhea Treatment: 

  • Antibiotics, specifically ceftriaxone.

Most Common Symptoms:

  • Burning urine or penile discharge.

Gonorrhea Testing Diagnosis:

  • The Gonorrhea Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA) urine test.

Severe Symptoms:  

  • Passing to newborn babies, bleeding between periods, infertility

Gonorrhea Statistic:

  • The rate of Gonorrhea in the U.S. per 100,000 people was 92.2 for men and 105.7 for women in 2009.

The most common symptom of gonorrhea, oddly enough, is not displaying any symptoms. Most women and half of men do not exhibit any common symptoms, which could actually lead to further complications than those who are immediately tested and treated.

Symptoms of STD

Gonorrhea symptoms vary quite dramatically from case to case, and even more so between genders, but common features include a burning sensation while urinating and dis-colored discharge from the urethra.

Symptoms for gonorrhea typically become noticeable around 10 days after the sexual encounter or contact. It is important to remember that penetration and/or discharge are not necessary for the infection to be passed. Contact with the infected area is enough to spread gonorrhea.

In the most extreme scenarios, gonorrhea can lead to infertility, vaginal bleeding, and DGI (Disseminated Gonococcal Infection), also called gonococcal arthritis. DGI develops within two weeks of infection and can involve chills, sickness, fever, arthritis, skin rashes or legions, or symptoms of meningitis. DGI is rare and only about 1% of gonorrhea positive individuals experience these effects. But it is extremely serious, so do not hesitate to call a doctor.

Symptoms in Men

Most Likely Symptoms

  • No symptoms.  The CDC estimates as many as 50% of male gonorrhea cases don’t experience any symptoms, even weeks after contracting the STD.
  • Yellowish or greenish discharge from penis
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding
  • Painful, burning urination
  • Inflamed eye

Likely Symptoms

  • Sore Throat
  • itching or burning near opening of the penis
  • Testicular pain and/or swelling

Possible Symptoms

  • NA

Symptoms in Women

Most Likely Symptoms

  • No symptoms.  The CDC estimates that most female gonorrhea cases don’t experience any symptoms, even weeks after getting infected.

Likely Symptoms

  • Increased vaginal discharge that is unusually colored (greenish, yellowish, bloody, or watery)
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding
  • Pain during urination (could be from another STD)
  • Eye inflammation

Possible Symptoms

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea
  • fever
  • Sore throat

Signs of Gonorrhea

It’s important to set up a gonorrhea test at an STD test clinic if you experience any of these symptoms.  Gonorrhea is often contracted simultaneously with chlamydia and symptoms can overlap, so both a gonorrhea test and chlamydia test are often advisable any time an unsafe sexual encounter occurs. 

Gonorrhea Test

Doctors also recommend a gonorrhea test annually in sexually active women, including those who are pregnant, in order to prevent further complications or contraction of another STD.

Remember, gonorrhea can be exchanged during oral sex, anal sex or vaginal intercourse and while condoms do reduce the risk of contracting the STD, they are not 100% effective. 

Gonorrhea SymptomsA proactive gonorrhea test is very valuable, because the consequences are so severe and the symptoms can be non-existent. If you have had unprotected sex, protect yourself by getting tested.

More STD Information:

Visit our gonorrhea overview page, our gonorrhea treatment page or our gonorrhea testing page to find out more info about this STD.

Return to our main about STDs page to get more private STD testing info on other common sexually transmitted diseases.


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