Gonorrhea is type of sexually transmitted disease (STD).


Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted from an infected partner during sex. This can happen during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

Risk Factors

Gonorrhea is most common among sexually active young adults. Other factors that increase your chances of getting gonorrhea include:
  • Being sexually active
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Having sex without a condom
  • A history of STDs


Most people who have gonorrhea do not have symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may appear 1-14 days after exposure. In some cases, symptoms do not occur for up to a month.Symptoms in men may include:
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Itching sensation in urethra
Symptoms in women may include:
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
Symptoms in men and women with rectal infections may include:
  • Anal itching
  • Soreness
  • Bleeding
  • Painful bowel movements
Gonorrhea can also cause serious health complications.Complications in men include:
  • Epididymitis —A painful swelling and inflammation of the testicles, which may lead to infertility.
  • Urethritis —The inside of the urethra may become inflamed, which causes burning when passing urine. If scarring occurs, it may cause difficulty with passing urine, or block urine flow completely.
  • Prostatitis —An inflammation of the prostate gland. Symptoms include pain in and around the groin and pelvis, or discomfort when urinating. It may also create flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, body aches, or fatigue.
Complications in women include:
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)—A serious infection that can lead to infertility , even in women who never have symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include pelvic pain and pain with intercourse. PID causes scar tissue or may cause an abscess to form in the fallopian tubes.
  • Infection in a newborn infant if the mother is infected during pregnancy.
Female Reproductive System Organs
Female Reproductive Organs
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Untreated gonorrhea can cause severe infections in:
  • Joints
  • Brain
  • Eyes
  • Heart

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