Gonorrhea! Everything you want to know

Jan 30, 2023

Creative Team

Gonorrhea! Everything you want to know


Gonorrhea is a disease caused by sexual transmission. It can happen to anyone of any age or gender, but it is mostly seen among teenagers and young adults (between 15 to 24 years). It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In most cases, gonorrhea bacteria transmit during sexual activities like oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. In rare cases, gonorrhea can also be spread from the birthing parent to the newborn during delivery.

This STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) targets moist, warm areas of the body like the Urethra, eyes, throat, vagina, anus, and female reproductive tracts (including the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes. If gonorrhea remains untreated then it can cause long-term health issues like infertility. 


Gonorrhea: Symptoms 

  1. If you are a penis owner

Mostly within 2 to 30 days after the exposure, you might see noticeable gonorrhea symptoms. So, it takes a while to develop symptoms and sometimes you may also be asymptomatic in nature. Pain or burning sensation while urinating is the most common and first symptom that may occur. Here are some other symptoms that might show up:

  • Urination occurs more frequently or urgently
  • A drip or pus-like discharge from your penis (this discharge could be yellow, white, beige, or greenish)
  • Swelling and discoloration at the penis's entrance
  • Swelling or pain in the testicles
  • Discomfort and itching in your anus
  • Rectal discharge or bleeding
  • Discomfort with bowel motions
  1. If you are a vagina owner

In most cases, women don’t have any symptoms. In women, symptoms may show up from the day to several weeks after the exposure. Gonorrhea symptoms are usually mild and subtle and like the symptoms of any other vaginal infection. Here are some of the symptoms that might show up: 

  • Vaginal discharge that is creamy, watery, or greenish
  • Urination that causes discomfort or burning
  • An urge to go to the bathroom more often
  • Periods that are heavier or spotting between cycles
  • Suffering from painful vaginal sex
  • Searing pain in your lower abdomen
  • Discomfort and itching in your anus
  • Rectal discharge or bleeding
  • Bowel movements that hurt

Gonorrhea can affect your throat and mouth too. Some oral Gonorrhea symptoms are sore throat for a prolonged period of time, redness & inflammation in your throat and the surroundings, and swelling of lymph nodes in your neck. 

In rare cases, it can spread to your eyes and cause fever. This usually happens when one touches the site of the infection and then touches their eyes before washing hands. Some of the gonococcal conjunctivitis symptoms are eye irritation, tenderness & pain in your eyes, eyelids getting swelled up, redness & inflammation of eyes, and eyelids getting ringed in stringy white or yellow mucous. 

Gonorrhea: Complications that may rise

Untreated gonorrhea increases the risk of getting a long-term health issue in vagina owners. Gonorrhea and other untreated STIs have the potential to spread into the reproductive system and harm the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This may result in pelvic inflammatory disease, a disorder (PID). PID can harm the reproductive organs and result in severe, continuous discomfort.

Another potential problem is fallopian tube blockage or scarring, which can:

  • Make it more challenging to get pregnant
  • A fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy

During delivery, it can potentially spread to a newborn child. It has the rare but deadly potential to enter your bloodstream. In men, untreated gonorrhea can result in: 

  • The urethra becoming scarred
  • An uncomfortable abscess in your penis that may have an impact on your fertility
  • Inflammation of the semen-carrying tubes close to your testicles is known as epididymitis

Gonorrhea: Preventions

To prevent the spread of gonorrhea, scientists are developing a vaccine. However, there is currently no vaccine that can stop the infection. To lower the risk, follow these steps:

  • Before having sex, always use a condom or dental dam.
  • Don't engage in sexual activity with someone who is still contagious.
  • Never engage in sexual activity with a gonorrhea patient.
  • Limit your sexual partners and be honest about your sex life.
  • Test yourself for gonorrhea and encourage your partners to do the same.

Abstinence is the most secure method of preventing gonorrhea and other STIs. Of course, using a barrier technique like a condom or any other every time you engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex will also help reduce your chance of getting numerous Sexually transmitted diseases.

Final Verdict

You should get tested right away if you fear you may have contracted gonorrhea. Remember that this infection is fairly common and is nothing to be ashamed of.

By using barrier measures for any sexual activity, undergoing routine STI testing, and discussing STIs with your partners before beginning a sexual connection, you can take precautions to prevent spreading or catching gonorrhea.