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What is Gonorrhea?

By HERWriter
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According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), gonorrhea (which also has the nicknames "the drip", or "clap") is a very common sexually transmitted disease. Annually, the CDC estimates more than 700,000 in the U.S. contract gonorrhea. Interestingly enough, more than 50 percent of women diagnosed with gonorrhea also have chlamydia.

According to the CDC, here are some of the symptoms for gonorrhea for men and women.

Symptoms of gonorrhea for men include:

• Men may display no symptoms at all
• Symptoms appear one to fourteen days after infection
• Burning sensation when urinating
• White, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
• Painful or swollen testicles
• Gonorrhea in the throat can cause a sore throat
• Rectal infection symptoms
o Discharge
o Itching
o Soreness
o Bleeding
o Painful bowl movements

Symptoms of gonorrhea for women include:

• Women may display mild symptoms
• Women may display no symptoms
• Female symptoms may be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection
• Painful or burning sensation when urinating
• Increased vaginal discharge
• Vaginal bleeding between periods
• Gonorrhea in the throat can cause a sore throat
• Rectal infection symptoms
o Discharge
o Itching
o Soreness
o Bleeding
o Painful bowl movements

Serious complications can develop in women, as well as men, with gonorrhea.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, complications from gonorrhea in women include:

• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Heart valve infection
• Infertility
• Scarring of the fallopian tubes (Salpingitis)
• Meningitis
• Pregnant women with severe gonorrhea may pass the disease to their baby while in the womb or during delivery
• Joint infections

Complications in men may include:
• Meningitis
• Pus around the urethra
• Heart valve infection
• Scarring or narrowing of the urethra
• Joint infections

Gonorrhea is treatable. Gonorrhea is generally treated with antibiotics. However, recently there have been strains of drug-resistant gonorrhea. The CDC’s website said, they "currently recommend dual therapy for the treatment of gonorrhea."

To find out if you have gonorrhea, a doctor will order a gram stain test or a culture. The health care professional takes a swap of the infected area. The results of your test are available in 24-72 hours.

The best way to prevent gonorrhea is abstinence. Also, female and male condoms are recommended to reduce your risk of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.


STD Facts - Gonorrhea. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from

Gonorrhea - Symptoms, Test & Treatment. Sexual & Reproductive Health - Sex Education - Planned Parenthood. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/gonorrhea-4269.htm

Gonorrhea - PubMed Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved August 29, 2011, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004526/

Reviewed August 30, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I think gonorrhea is rapidly spreading diseases that is curable and people can avoid the long term harm of this infection if they get tested regularly. online services like getstdtested.com and stdtesting.com make anonymous std testing easy.

September 1, 2011 - 11:54am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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