Chlamydia vs. Gonorrhea: Difference and Similarities

Chlamydia vs Gonorrhea
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mandy Liedeman


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are commonly observed in homosexual males. However, the symptoms are often less apparent, emphasizing the significance of regular checkups with your healthcare provider. However, it is difficult to distinguish between the two as their symptoms are similar, and both can develop long-term complications if left untreated. This blog will explore the possible similarities, differences, and treatment options for chlamydia and gonorrhea STIs. In sexually active people, the chances of contraction are higher in females younger than 25; therefore, the CDC recommends once-a-year checkups for sexually transmitted diseases. 

Chlamydia vs. Gonorrhea: What is the Difference Between?

Instead of striking similarities in symptoms of the two infections, some differences can tell them apart. Following are some of the differences between chlamydia and gonorrhea: 

  1. Causal Agent: Although bacteria cause both infections, both are different bacteria. Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia, while Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes Gonorrhea. 
  1. Symptoms: Gonorrhea causes pain and itch during defecation, while chlamydia doesn’t show such signs. 
  1. Treatment Courses: After the diagnosis, treatment is provided as per the cause. Doctors recommend oral antibiotics for chlamydia, while for gonorrhea infection, they recommend a combination of intramuscular antibiotic injections and oral tablets to treat the disease effectively.
If you have gonorrhea or chlamydia symptoms you should seek profesisonal advice.

What is the Difference Between Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Discharge?

There is a difference in the odor and color of the discharge of a person with chlamydia vs. gonorrhea. For chlamydia infection, discharge appears yellowish with a pungent smell in women and pus in the urine during cloudy or clear discharge in men. In contrast, for gonorrhea patients, both men and women have thick white, yellow, to greenish discharge, pain while urinating, pain while urinating, and bleeding during periods. However, these symptoms are not compulsory in every case; in some males and half of females, there are no visible symptoms. 

What are the Similarities Between Gonorrhea and Chlamydia?

Due to striking similarities between chlamydia and gonorrhea, often the diagnosis is difficult. Following are the similarities between the two sexually transmitted infections

  1. Symptoms: Both infections present some of the common symptoms: 
  1. Prevention: Both can be prevented by ensuring protected sex (condoms). They can provide the infection doesn’t infect their partners orally or through the arse. 
  1. Affect on Eyes: Eyes can be affected if you touch your face after coming in contact with the discharge of an affected person suffering from either gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other sexually transmitted disease. Ocular chlamydia or gonorrhea symptoms include watery discharge from the eyes and pain. 
  1. Spread: Both infections are common, but the prevalence rates of chlamydia are much higher per US 2017 stats. There were 1.7 million chlamydia cases. 
  1. Mode of Transmission: The Gonorrhea infection spreads through non-genital contact like kissing or oral sex, while chlamydia infection usually spreads through anal sex. 

Can you Have Chlamydia and Gonorrhea at the Same Time?

There are chances of contracting other sexually transmitted infections if you already have one. For example, a person with chlamydia is more likely to contract gonorrhea. Therefore, it is common to have both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections simultaneously. If a person is pregnant, there are chances that infection might travel up from the vagina and cervix and cause disease in the womb and fallopian tubes. 

Do Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have the Same Treatment?

Since bacteria are the causal agents for both diseases, it is necessary to undergo an antibiotic course to treat both infections. Therefore, it is advisable to undergo testing to receive appropriate treatment after diagnosis, starting the correct over-the-counter antibiotic course as your healthcare provider prescribes.

In these infections, there are chances of reinfection; therefore, completing the course is essential to prevent the re-emission of the disease. Doctors recommend taking medicines for one week more after the treatment and avoiding intercourse during the infection

For gonorrhea, a treatment and dosage regime is provided compared to chlamydia. For example, doctors prescribe a single dose of oral antibiotic azithromycin for chlamydia or oral doxycycline twice a week for seven days to treat the STI. Simultaneously, they administer an intramuscular injection of an antibiotic called ceftriaxone along with oral azithromycin oral antibiotic.

Do not overlook your symptoms. Get professional help for an accurate diagnosis of gonorrhea or chlamydia.


What’s worse, chlamydia vs gonorrhea?

Both are STIs and can cause long-term complications and spread if left untreated; gonorrhea carries a higher risk of prolonged conditions and complications such as infertility, as it can lead to pelvic diseases. 

Does chlamydia turn into gonorrhea?

No, different bacterial infections cause both, and chlamydia cannot turn into gonorrhea unless sexual contact with the person suffering from gonorrhea occurs. 

Are chlamydia and gonorrhea the same thing?

No, chlamydia and gonorrhea are not the same. They both are STIs, but different bacteria are the cause. For example, Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia, while Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea. 

Is it easy to get rid of chlamydia and gonorrhea?

Yes, your doctor can treat both infections with different antibacterial courses. You can cure the condition by following the correct dose and duration.

What antibiotics treat chlamydia and gonorrhea?

To treat chlamydia, doctors prescribe oral antibiotics like azithromycin (Zithromax), while for gonorrhea, they provide cefpodoxime (Vantin) or cefixime (Suprax). Testing and following an antibacterial course is equally essential for your partner to cure the infection.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea
  • National Library of Medicine. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia 
  • National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Gonorrhea
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea 

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