Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). You may have gonorrhea without any symptoms. Furthermore, symptoms in women are different than in men, so if you think you may have caught this infection, it is best to consult a doctor. Immediate treatment helps prevent the severity of the infection. Gonorrhea is very common these days. Around 1.14 million gonorrhea infections are reported in the United States per year. Most infections are reported in the age group of 15 to 24.
What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection. Unprotected sex can cause bacteria to enter your body through the anus, vagina, penis, or mouth. You can also contract this infection by sharing sex toys that haven’t been washed. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can pass it to her baby during birth.
What causes gonorrhea?
The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae is responsible for causing gonorrhea, a type of STI. The most common transmission route for this bacterium is through oral, vaginal, or genital sex with an infected partner. The genitourinary system, the rectum, the throat, and even the eyes can all become infected.
Gonorrhea is typically transmitted by sharing bodily fluids like sperm, vaginal, or mucosal secretions. Most cases arise from people engaging in unprotected sexual activity with an infected person. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn during delivery.
As antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium are becoming more common, it is more important than ever to prevent the spread of this infection through safe sexual practices and routine testing.
How to cure gonorrhea without going to the doctor?
Gonorrhea cannot be cured using home remedies. To cure gonorrhea, antibiotic treatment is required. However, if you cannot see your doctor and have symptoms of this infection or have tested positive, you can start treatment at home by discussing it with one of our online doctors. Our doctors can suggest antibiotics for gonorrhea, which will help cure your infection.
Why home remedies are not effective in gonorrhea?
Due to the need for particular antibiotics to treat this STI, home cures do not work against gonorrhea. This STI requires antibiotics for complete removal. At the same time, various home remedies and natural treatments are not effective by scientific evidence for treating gonorrhea. Home remedies, such as herbal medicines, essential oils, or dietary changes, may not have the properties necessary to eradicate the bacteria causing this infection.
Treatment for gonorrhea typically involves a prescribed course of antibiotics specifically chosen to target the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. These antibiotics are available only with a prescription through healthcare professionals, such as doctors or nurses.
It’s crucial to seek proper medical care to diagnose and treat gonorrhea. On the contrary, untreated or inadequately treated gonorrhea can lead to severe complications and the potential spread of the infection to others.
How is gonorrhea transmitted?
Gonorrhea commonly spreads during oral, vaginal, or anal sex. However, babies can also get the infection during birth due to infection in the mother. In babies, gonorrhea usually affects the eyes.
The common site of infection in women is the cervix. In men, the urethra affects commonly due to gonorrhea.
Female-to-female STD transfer, such as gonorrhea, can occur through skin contact, transfer of vaginal fluids, period blood, or sharing dirty sex toys.
What are the risk factors for getting gonorrhea?
Several risk factors make you more prone to getting gonorrhea. Also, it is common in sexually active women, mostly under 25, and among men who have sex with men.
Factors that can increase your risk include:
- Having a new sex partner
- Having multiple sex partners
- Having a sex partner who has multiple partners
- Being diagnosed with gonorrhea or another sexually transmitted infection in the past
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Many people don’t experience any symptoms, even when they have gonorrhea. Even though you may be an asymptomatic carrier, you can still transfer gonorrhea. Since you aren’t aware you have the infection, transmission to a sexual partner is most likely.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in women
Many women don’t develop gonorrhea symptoms. However, symptoms can appear anywhere from a day to several weeks after the infection as the gonorrhea incubation period ranges between 1-14 days.
These symptoms can be mild and confused with other infections, such as yeast or bacterial infections. Consequently, gonorrhea discharge in women can be creamy, watery, or greenish vaginal discharge gonorrhea in the vagina. Other signs of gonorrhea in women include:
- Burning or pain while peeing
- Increased rate of urine
- Irregular bleeding, spotting between periods or heavy periods, or brown vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
- Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
- Itching and soreness in the anal region
- Pain while passing stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Discharge from the rectum
Symptoms of gonorrhea in men
Burning or pain during urination is often the first reported symptom and can be confused with a urinary tract infection. Other possible signs and symptoms of gonorrhea in men include:
- Increased urine rate
- Clear sticky or pus-like discharge from your penis (the color of the discharge can be yellow, white, beige, or green)
- Swelling and discoloration at the penis opening
- Testicular swelling
- Testicular discomfort
- Itching and soreness in your anus
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal discharge
- Pain while passing stool
Can gonorrhea affect other sites in the body?
The bacterium causing gonorrhea may spread through the bloodstream and infect other body areas. Additionally, fever, gonorrhea rash, sores, joint pain, and swelling can be some signs that the infection has spread to other regions of your body.
Gonorrhea can also affect other parts of your body. Some commonly affected sites of infection include:
- Eyes: If gonorrhea affects your eyes, it results in eye pain. Additionally, eye infection due to this bacteria can lead to light sensitivity and discharge from one or both eyes. The discharge can be pus-like.
- Throat: Gonorrhea in the throat can occur due to oral sex. Symptoms of a throat infection include a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, usually in the neck.
- Rectum: Anal sex causes an infection in the rectum. Signs and symptoms include anal itching, rectal discharge, rectal bleeding, and pain during bowel movements.
- Joints: Sometimes, joints affect as well. Therefore, the affected joints are usually warm, red, and swollen. The pain worsens on movement in septic arthritis, which can occur due to gonorrhea infection.
How is gonorrhea diagnosed?
Firstly, your doctor will take your medical and sexual history. After that, your doctor may run a urine test to diagnose gonorrhea. Other tests include:
- A pelvic exam for females during which the doctor test fluid sample from the cervix.
- A sample of discharge from the penis.
- A throat or anal culture is to see if there is an infection in those regions.
The tests depend on your sexual history and presenting symptoms. Therefore, your doctor will ask for tests according to your situation. Healthcare providers also test people with gonorrhea infection for chlamydia since these infections often occur together.
How is gonorrhea treated in men and women?
Gonorrhea cannot be treated with home remedies. If you have symptoms of gonorrhea or your sexual partner have tested positive, you’ll need medication to treat gonorrhea.
The CDC previously recommended ceftriaxone plus azithromycin. Due to the increasing resistance to azithromycin of the bacteria causing gonorrhea, CDC has updated these guidelines.
The current treatment for gonorrhea is a single-dose intramuscular injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone. The shot is given in the butt. In addition, your doctor may suggest an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline 100mg twice daily for seven days.
How long does it take gonorrhea to clear up?
It usually takes seven days for gonorrhea to clear up with treatment. Moreover, different symptoms may clear at other times. Pelvic pain can persist for up to 2 weeks as well. Also, immediate treatment helps clear the infection sooner.
It is recommended to wait at least a week after finishing your antibiotics before having sex.
Treatment of Gonorrhea for Partners
Your partner must also be tested and treated for gonorrhea. Even if they don’t have any signs or symptoms, they should receive the same treatment as you. Meanwhile, if your partner has an infection, you can get the infection.
Treatment of Gonorrhea in Babies
Babies who develop the infection are treated with antibiotics. Babies usually acquire the infection during delivery if mothers have gonorrhea.
How do I prevent gonorrhea?
Abstaining from sex or using protection such as a condom if you have sex helps prevent sexually transmitted infections. Some ways that may reduce the risk of transfer include:
- Using a condom: Abstaining from sex is an obvious way to prevent this infection. Using a condom during sexual activity, such as oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex, can help reduce the risk.
- Avoid having multiple sex partners: A relationship with a single partner can help lower your risk of infection.
- Make sure that you and your partner undergo testing for STI: Before you have sex with someone new, it is a good idea that both partners undergo testing and share your results to ensure that.
- Avoid having sex with someone with an STD: Don’t have sex with someone showing signs or symptoms of an STD, such as a genital rash or burning during peeing.
- Get regular gonorrhea screening: For sexually active women under the age of 25 and older women with a higher risk of infection, doctors recommend routine check-ups. Moreover, it mainly includes women with a new sex partner, multiple sex partners, or a sex partner with various partners. Furthermore, doctors recommend regular check-ups for men who have sex with men and their partners.
Is Gonorrhea Contagious?
Gonorrhea is contagious as it spreads quickly during sexual activity.
Although, you can’t spread gonorrhea through touching, kissing, or hugging. You also won’t spread it through sharing utensils or bathrooms.
Gonorrhea long-term effects
Complications may develop if you don’t treat gonorrhea. These are common gonorrhea side effects:
Infertility in women
The infection can travel to the uterus and fallopian tubes, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Consequently, PID can result in scarring of the tubes, making it hard to conceive.
Infertility in men
Gonorrhea can cause inflammation of the epididymis (small, coiled tube in the rear portion of the testicles where the sperm ducts are located) or epididymitis. In other words, untreated epididymitis can contribute to infertility.
Infection that spreads to the joints or other your body
The bacterium causing gonorrhea can spread through the bloodstream and infect other parts of your body, including your joints. As a result, a person may experience symptoms such as a fever, rash, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Increased risk of HIV/AIDS
Getting gonorrhea makes you more prone to infection with HIV, which causes AIDS. People who have both gonorrhea and HIV simultaneously are more likely to pass both diseases to their partners.
Complications in babies
Babies contracting gonorrhea during birth may go blind or can develop sores on the scalp.
How does online treatment for gonorrhea work?
Online treatment for gonorrhea typically involves virtual consultations with healthcare professionals through telemedicine platforms like Your Doctors Online. Here’s a general overview of how online treatment for gonorrhea might work:
Find a telemedicine platform or online healthcare service that offers consultations for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea. Create an account.
During the online consultation, the doctor will ask you for information about your symptoms, medical history, and any recent sexual activity. Consequently, the healthcare professional will use this information to assess your situation and determine the likelihood of a gonorrhea infection.
Test Kit or Lab Referral
They may recommend that you either consult a doctor for gonorrhea or refer you to a local lab or clinic for testing.
Test Results and Diagnosis
Once the test results are available, the healthcare professional will review them and provide a diagnosis. Moreover, if the results specify a gonorrhea infection, they will guide you on the appropriate treatment options.
Prescription and Treatment
If treatment is necessary, the healthcare professional will send a prescription online to a pharmacy of your choice. You may need to provide your preferred pharmacy details during the consultation. The medication will be antibiotics effective against gonorrhea.
Follow-up and Support
Online treatment services often provide support and follow-up after the check-up. You can ask questions, seek further advice, or schedule appointments.
When to Consult a Doctor
Gonorrhea is a common STD. The infection can present with symptoms such as pain while urinating or vaginal or penile discharge. However, a lot of people do not experience any symptoms at all. With the proper treatment, usually antibiotics, you can cure gonorrhea and prevent long-term complications. Therefore, if you have had sex without protection and suspect gonorrhea symptoms, talk to our board-certified physician at Your Doctors Online for diagnosis and prescription.
FAQs On Gonorrhea Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
Around 80% of females who have gonorrhea don’t show signs of it. It means you can contract an infection even two weeks before the appearance of symptoms.
Gonorrhea spreads during vaginal, oral, or anal sex, even without discharge. It can also transfer from mother to child during birth.
Yes, in women, it can result in vaginal inflammatory disease, leading to scarring of fallopian tubes, contributing to infertility. Likewise, in men, it causes epididymitis, causing infertility.
Brown discharge can represent an infection in women and other symptoms, such as a foul smell or pain while peeing.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as pain while peeing, unusual vaginal or penile discharge, stomach upset, or pain during sex, you may have gonorrhea.
Yes, you can get rid of gonorrhea with antibiotics. So, a doctor recommends an intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone and oral doxycycline for mild infections for seven days.
Gonorrhea can affect your period and result in spotting between periods, heavy periods, or brown vaginal discharge.
Many people don’t experience any symptoms, even when they have gonorrhea. Although, symptoms can develop within two weeks after the infection.
The infection usually takes about seven days to clear if you start treatment early.
Discharge caused by gonorrhea can have a foul or pungent smell.
Gonorrhea transfers through sexual activities. However, you can also get it if you touch your eye with infected fluids.
Gonorrhea can infect an infant during delivery if the mother has the disease. Such babies can develop an eye infection.