Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect both men and women. As the term STI suggests, it's commonly spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex and it most often affects the genital tract, rectum, or throat.

With an estimated 820,000 new cases reported each year in the United States, contracting gonorrhea is common and once it’s detected and treated early - there's nothing to worry about!

See also: The Difference Between Bacterial and Viral STIs



Where can gonorrhea affect?


Gonorrhea is typically spread through oral, anal, or vaginal sex and can affect a number of different parts of the body, these include:

  • Genital tract
  • Rectum
  • Throat

It’s quite normal for gonorrhea to show little to no symptoms. Though, when symptoms do appear they may differ depending on the part of the body that has been affected [1].


Genital tract


  • Painful urination
  • Discharge
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

Rectum


  • Anal itching
  • Discharge
  • Spots of blood after using the loo

How long does it take for symptoms to show?


If symptoms do show, it can take anywhere between one-two weeks after being infected - although it can potentially take even longer.

According to the NHS, it's estimated that around 10% of men and 50% of women who contract gonorrhea won't experience any signs.


Can gonorrhea go away on its own?


If you test positive for gonorrhea, treatment is the next step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a single dose of 250mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone AND 1g of oral azithromycin.

It’s important to finish your course of antibiotics to ensure the infection is completely cleared. If you continue to experience signs and symptoms of gonorrhea after a few days of treatment - get in touch with your healthcare provider who will be able to offer a helping hand with potential next steps.


Should my partner also get treated for Gonorrhea?


Although your partner might not be showing any signs or symptoms, it’s important for them to go through both testing and treatment for the infection. Without treatment, it’s possible for your partner to pass the infection back on to you.


Do I have gonorrhea?


If you notice any signs or symptoms of gonorrhea, it’s important to find out more - this can be done by taking a trip to your doctors office or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked offers a range of at-home STI tests which check for some of the most common bacterial and viral infections including gonorrhea. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Should you test positive - prescriptions will be provided free of charge.

You should also consider getting tested if:

  • You become sexually active
  • You have had unprotected sex
  • You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
  • You are entering into a new sexual relationship
  • You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected (STIs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)

See also: How do you Check for STDs From Home?



References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Gonorrhea. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019