- Seeking information about gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.
- Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrheae.
- Other common names for gonorrhea are “GC”, the “clap”, or the “drip.”
- In women, gonorrhea most commonly causes an infection of the cervix or the urethra.
- Symptoms for women can sometimes be mild and not very specific. Symptoms may include increased vaginal discharge, abnormal menstrual bleeding, painful sexual intercourse, or burning with urination.
- Sometimes a woman can have no symptoms at all.
- If not treated, gonorrhea can cause significant complications (e.g., pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy).
Women and Men
- In both men and women, gonorrhea can sometimes cause an infection of the throat or of the rectum.
- A person with gonorrhea is contagious until he or she has been treated with antibiotics.
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours If:
- You think you need to be seen
- You are a female with any of the following:
- Burning (pain) with urination
- Unexplained lower abdominal pain
- Abnormal color of vaginal discharge (i.e., yellow, green, gray)
- Bad smelling vaginal discharge
- Rectal discharge or unusual rectal pain or itching
- By intercourse (vaginal or anal), or oral sex.
How long does it usually take for symptoms to appear once one is exposed?
- The incubation period for gonorrhea is 2-7 days.
- Sometimes people (especially women) can become infected and not show any symptoms.
How can I get tested for gonorrhea?
- Gonorrhea is diagnosed by taking swabs of the urethra, vagina, throat, or rectum.
What is the treatment for gonorrhea?
- Antibiotic therapy is needed. A person with gonorrhea is contagious until he or she has been treated.
- Sexual partners should be evaluated and treated.
STD National Hotline
- The CDC National STD Hotline provides information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV/genital warts, herpes, and HIV/AIDS. Specialists can provide general information, referrals to local clinics, and written materials about STDs and disease prevention.
- Toll-free number (English): (800) 227-8922
- Toll-free number (Spanish): (800) 344-7432
- Their website is at: http://www.ashastd.org
Pregnancy test, when in doubt:
- If there is any possibility of pregnancy, obtain and use a urine pregnancy test from the local drug store.
- Follow the instructions included in the package.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Pregnancy test is positive or if you have difficulties with the home pregnancy test
- Discharge from penis or unusual vaginal discharge
- You become worse