Sometimes referred to as ‘the clap’, gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s the second most commonly reported infectious disease with an estimated 820,000 new cases occurring each year in the United States [1].

More often than not, gonorrhea affects the urethra, rectum and throat - with the last mentioned causing oral gonorrhea.

See also: Can an STI go Undetected?

Causes of Oral Gonorrhea

Oral gonorrhea is typically contracted through performing oral sex on someone who has the infection.

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting gonorrhea of the throat is by using a dental dam or condom each time you have oral sex.

Symptoms of Oral Gonorrhea

It’s common for gonorrhea to show little to no symptoms. Although if symptoms do appear, they differ depending on the part of the body that has become infected.

Symptoms and signs to keep in mind for oral gonorrhea include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Redness in the throat
  • Fever

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.

Genital tract

  • Painful urination
  • Discharge
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain


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

Do I have gonorrhea?

If you notice any signs or symptoms of oral gonorrhea, it’s important to find out more - this can be done by taking a trip to your doctors office for a sexual health checkup.

If you simply want to know more about your sexual health, LetsGetChecked offers a range of at-home STI tests which check for some of the most common bacterial and viral infections. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

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?


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonococcal Infections in Adolescents and Adults. Online:, 2015
  2. Mayo Clinic. Gonorrhea. Online:, 2019