Gonorrhea

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common and curable sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is caused by a bacteria which can be passed from person to person during vaginal, oral and anal sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 700,000 new cases of gonorrhea in the United States each year, with most going undiagnosed.

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

Unlike most STDs, gonorrhea is known as a silent infection because an infected person may display no symptoms. Men can experience symptoms as shortly as a few days after infection. Symptoms in men include discharge from the penis, painful urination, and burning and itching around the penis. Most women do not experience immediate symptoms. When they do appear, symptoms in women include painful urination, unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, and stomach pain.

How do I get gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex with an infected individual. Gonorrhea can be transmitted to an individual even if the penis or tongue doesn't fully enter the vagina or anus.

How do I get tested for gonorrhea?

The most common test is the gonorrhea nucleic acid amplification test (NAA), which is a urine test. This test is highly recommended by the CDC for its accuracy and simplicity.

How does the gonorrhea test work?

The NAA test is based on the amplification of the bacteria's DNA. Because this test is so sensitive, there is a very little chance to have a false-positive result. Once your results are ready, we will put you in contact with a trained physician to discuss your results, if necessary. The physician can help determine the next steps for you and prescribe treatment, if necessary.

Is gonorrhea curable?

Gonorrhea is curable and treatment is very simple. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics to kill the gonorrhea bacteria. It is important to remember that both you and your partner should be treated as it is possible to become re-infected.

What could happen if it's left untreated?

If left untreated, gonorrhea can make you more susceptible to HIV and other STDs. Men may experience a painful infection of the testicles, prostate inflammation, scarring of the urethra, and infertility. Women are at much higher risk to develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Untreated PID is very dangerous and can lead to tubal pregnancy and infertility.

STD resources

If you're looking for more gonorrhea resources, please visit the CDC website. You can also visit our other FAQs.

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