What are gonorrhea symptoms?

Gonorrhea is a common STD that infects both women and men and can cause infections in the rectum, throat and genitals.

Symptoms in men include:

  • Pain or swelling in the testicles
  • Green, yellow or white discharge from the penis
  • Burning when urinating

Symptoms in women are often unnoticed or are so mild they can be mistaken for a common infection. If gonorrhea goes untreated, it can cause serious health complications. Gonorrhea symptoms for women include:

  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Burning when urinating

Infection of gonorrhea in the rectum can either cause no symptoms or those listed here:

  • Soreness
  • Anal itching
  • Bleeding
  • Discharge
  • Painful bowel movements

The symptoms of gonorrhea and other STDs include smelly discharge, unusual sores, burning during urination, or for women, bleeding between periods. See a doctor if you or your partner experience any of these symptoms.

What is gonorrhea treatment?

Testing for gonorrhea can be done through a urine sample, but if you have had anal or oral sex, a swab of the area can be used for testing too. Swabs can also be used to collect a sample from a woman’s cervix or a man’s urethra.

There is a cure for gonorrhea and medication should be taken in its entirety. It is becoming increasingly common for certain strains of gonorrhea to be drug-resistant, so if your symptoms do persist after completing treatment, you need to revisit your doctor for more testing.

If you decide not to get treatment, gonorrhea can cause serious health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Complications of PID include:

  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Potentially fatal pregnancy outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy)
  • Formation of scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes
  • Infertility

Complications in men include:

  • Sterility
  • A painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles
  • Untreated gonorrhea can also spread to blood and joints which is life-threatening

For men and women, if gonorrhea goes untreated it can increase the chance of contracting HIV.

Be sure to tell your partner so they can be tested and receive treatment.