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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually. Many women and some men who have gonorrhea do not have any signs or symptoms. If not treated, gonorrhea can cause swollen and painful joints and permanent damage to your reproductive organs. It can also make a man or woman unable to have children. If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she can infect her baby during childbirth.

Woman taking a pill with glass of water.

Gonorrhea is also called “the clap” or “the drip.”

Symptoms

In men:

  • Pain or burning when urinating

  • Watery, milky, or yellow discharge (drip) from the penis or anus

In women:

  • Yellow or white discharge (fluid) from the vagina or anus

  • Bleeding between periods

Treatment

Gonorrhea can be cured quickly with antibiotics. If you are being treated, your partner should also be checked by a healthcare provider. Don’t have sex while you are being treated.

Prevention

As with all STDs, knowing your partner’s sexual history is a big step toward preventing gonorrhea. Know the signs and symptoms of the infection. And use latex condoms to reduce your risk.

Resources

American Social Health Association STD Hotline  919-361-8488  www.ashastd.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  800-232-4636  www.cdc.gov/std

Online Medical Reviewer: Erlich, Kim Steven, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tiffany, Jennifer S, PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/7/2012
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