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Symptoms and Signs of Gonorrhea

Doctor's Notes on Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Gonorrhea infection is transmitted from one person to another through vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact. In addition, an infected mother may transmit gonorrhea to her newborn during vaginal childbirth.

Symptoms of gonorrhea infection may be different in women and men. Many women will have no symptoms. When symptoms of gonorrhea do appear in women, they may include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infection and irritation of the cervix, frequent need to urinate, vaginal itching and burning, a thick yellow/green discharge, vaginal infection, and bleeding between menstrual periods. Symptoms of gonorrhea in men may include pain or burning during urination, thick and yellow penile discharge, inflammation and tenderness of a duct in the testicles, and inflammation and pain in the prostate gland. In newborns, symptoms of gonorrhea include irritation of the mucous membranes in the eyes. Symptoms of oral and rectal gonorrhea may include sore throat or rectal pain or discharge.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.