Gonorrhea is a prevalent STD or sexually transmitted disease caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. The disease is often called the “drip” or “the clap.” The infection usually spreads via sexual fluids like semen and vaginal fluid, meaning that people may contract the disease from anal sex, intercourse, and oral sex (you may develop gonorrhea in your throat), and may also spread from sharing sex toys. 

What are the most common gonorrhea symptoms? Our experienced female gynecology specialists in Margeta, Florida, working at Fern F. Taisenchoy-Bent MD LLC, know the most prevalent gonorrhea symptoms in women and men and understand why timely treatment is necessary for this infection. 

About Gonorrhea

In several cases, the infection causes no visible symptoms making spreading the infection easy and, in most cases, unintentional. Frequent STI testing and practicing safe sex may reduce the risk of getting the disease. 

It’s also important to note that people of any sex or age can get gonorrhea and spread it if they are sexually active. To make matters worse, a mother infected with gonorrhea may pass the infection to their child during delivery. 

Statistically, the following people are at greater risk of contracting the STI:

  • People with a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • People under the age of 25.
  • Individuals who don’t practice safe sex.
  • Those who have several partners.

When looking at the numbers, gonorrhea is the second most prevalent bacteria-related STD after chlamydia. To make matters worse, they often occur together, and in the US alone, there are an estimated 1.14 million new infections happening yearly, mostly occurring in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Couple Having Appointment With Std Specialist in Clinic

Causes And Prevalent Gonorrhea Symptoms

As mentioned above, bacteria usually enter the body via sexual fluids by having unprotected sex. Gonorrhea bacteria may enter the body through the vagina, anus, penis, or mouth. The infection may also spread by sharing sex toys with your partner.

In women, the most common infection site is the cervix, while in men, it’s most prevalent in the urethra. 

On the other hand, it’s important to note that sharing silverware, food, and drinks. It also won’t spread by shared toilet use, holding hands, hugging, and kissing.  

When it comes to gonorrhea symptoms, it’s essential to note that the condition may not always cause symptoms, especially in women. 

Gonorrhea Symptoms in Women

As mentioned above, gonorrhea symptoms in women often go unnoticed, warranting testing even more essential if you believe that there’s a chance that you may have contracted the infection.

Still, if present, gonorrhea symptoms in women can be the following: 

  • Painful intercourse
  • Pelvic and abdominal pain
  • White or yellow vaginal discharge
  • Burning and painful urination
  • Bleeding between periods

Gonorrhea Symptoms in Men

Typically, gonorrhea symptoms will more likely be experienced by men. Still, in some cases, men may be unaware of the infection until several weeks have passed from the exposition. 

That said, gonorrhea symptoms in men may include: 

  • Green, white, or yellow penile discharge
  • Dysuria or burning and pain during urination
  • Swollen testicles and testicular pain

Gonorrhea Symptoms in The Throat and Anus

Anal and gonorrhea throat infections will usually happen after oral sex or through anal sex. While less common, they also exist and will produce the following symptoms: 

  • Anal itching, pain when passing stools, discharge
  • Itching in the throat, soreness, trouble swallowing, and scratchiness.

Diagnosing Gonorrhea

Your healthcare professional will inquire about your symptoms and sexual history. Subsequently, there will be a requirement for testing your urine or bodily fluids to identify the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea.

During your appointment, your healthcare provider might:

  • Conduct a pelvic examination, gathering a fluid sample from your cervix for analysis.
  • Collect a fluid sample from your penis for testing.
  • Utilize a swab to retrieve fluid from your throat or rectum for analysis.
  • Gather a urine sample for testing.

Your provider will deliberate on the most suitable type of gonorrhea test for your circumstances and specify the type of fluid sample required for the test. It’s also possible that your provider will test you for chlamydia, as these infections frequently occur together.


Experts treat the infection with antibiotics, usually prescribing it to your partner as well. For the most part, providers will administer a shot of Ceftriaxone, basing the dosage on body weight. 

  • If the patient weighs less than 330 pounds, 500 milligrams of Ceftriaxone will be administered.
  • One gram of the compound will be given if the individual weighs more than 330 pounds. 

Those allergic to this compound may be given 240 milligrams of Gentamicin and two grams of Azithromycin, which will be taken orally. 

In specific cases, your doctor may prescribe additional compounds, especially if you need treatment for chlamydia as well. It’s essential to follow the instructions of your doctor to eliminate the infection. 

On that note, the treatment can rid the body of the bacteria, but it can’t correct the damage done by the infection or protect from future issues with new infections. 

That said, gonorrhea is curable, but the bacteria is starting to get more resistant to classic antibiotic treatment (super gonorrhea). To ensure that the disease remains curable, following the guidelines given by your provider is essential and also, practicing safe sex to prevent further infections.

Preventing Gonorrhea 

Practicing safe sex is the only way to protect yourself from gonorrhea. More specifically, this would include:

  • Using condoms and dental dams regularly.
  • Avoiding intercourse with people who have an active infection or have had symptoms of gonorrhea.
  • Monogamy.
  • Getting regularly tested for STIs together with your partner.

On the note of testing, the CDC recommends testing once a year for sexually active individual women under the age of 25. Regardless of gender, people can greatly benefit from yearly testing if they have a higher risk of contracting the infection.

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Testing and Knowledge Are Paramount

While prompt treatment following a diagnosis will ensure quick relief, untreated cases may lead to many long-term health issues. Form integrity to pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies. Gonorrhea can especially be troublesome in the case of pregnant women as they may pass the infection to their child during delivery if left untreated by then. 

Because of this, and for several other reasons, educating yourself about this STD is essential, along with understanding the necessity of taking precautions, such as practicing safe sex. 

On that note, you and your partner can always learn from our experts. These experienced and compassionate professionals understand that some people may feel uneasy talking about their sexual past or sexually transmitted diseases. Still, being open about these medical problems is the first step toward treating and curing them.

Schedule an appointment with us today, and educate yourself about sexually transmitted diseases and the risks they carry.