IN THIS ARTICLE
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Gonorrhea is spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. A pregnant woman may pass the infection to her newborn during delivery.
Gonorrhea can be transmitted at any time by a person who is infected with the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, whether or not symptoms are present. A person who is infected with gonorrhea is always contagious until he or she has been treated.
Having a gonorrhea infection once does not protect you from getting another infection in the future. A new exposure to gonorrhea will cause reinfection, even if you were previously treated and cured.
It is fairly common for gonorrhea to cause no symptoms, especially in women. The incubation period, the time from exposure to the bacteria until symptoms develop, is usually 2 to 5 days. But sometimes symptoms may not develop for up to 30 days.
Gonorrhea may not cause symptoms until the infection has spread to other areas of the body.
Symptoms in women
In women, the early symptoms are sometimes so mild that they are mistaken for a bladder infection or vaginal infection. Symptoms may include:
Symptoms in men
In men, symptoms are usually obvious enough that they will cause a man to seek medical treatment before complications occur. But some men have mild or no symptoms and can unknowingly transmit gonorrhea infections to their sex partners. Symptoms may include:
Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) occurs when the gonorrhea infection spreads to sites other than the genitals, such as the joints, skin, heart, or blood. Symptoms of DGI include:
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.
Pill Identifier on RxList
- quick, easy,
Find a Local Pharmacy
- including 24 hour, pharmacies