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Gonorrhea (Gonococcal Infection)

Gonorrhea (Gonococcal Infection) is is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that produces infections in the male and female genital organs, anus, and throat.

Symptoms

  • Men: You can get gonorrhea in the anus, eyes, mouth, urethra, or throat. You may not notice any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they will vary depending on what part of your body is infected. If you have gonorrhea in the urethra, you might have pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, a discharge from your penis and painful or swollen testicles. If you have gonorrhea in the rectum, you might have itching, soreness, bleeding, a discharge from your rectum, or painful bowel movements. If you have gonorrhea in your throat, you might have a sore throat.
  • Women: You can get gonorrhea in the anus, eyes, mouth, throat, urinary tract, or uterus. You may not notice any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they will vary depending on what part of your body is infected. If you have gonorrhea in the uterus or urinary tract, you might have vaginal bleeding between your periods, pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, or increased vaginal discharge. If you have gonorrhea in the rectum, you might have itching, soreness, bleeding, a discharge from your rectum, or painful bowel movements. If you have gonorrhea in your throat, you might have a sore throat.

Prevention

You can protect yourself and others from gonorrhea by practicing safer sex. (more)

Testing & Diagnosis

In order to diagnose and treat gonorrhea, your doctor will take a detailed sexual history, conduct a thorough physical examination, and order several laboratory tests, including a test for HIV. Your doctor will also give you detailed information about how to prevent transmission of gonorrhea to any of your sexual partners.You should tell your sex partner(s) if you have an STD so that your partner(s) can seek medical attention. People who are diagnosed with an STD may be contacted by public health professionals to make sure that their sex partners are counseled, evaluated, and treated.

Treatment

CDC has updated recommendations for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea in adolescents and adults. The two-drug approach is no longer recommended. Instead, it should be treated with just one 500 mg injection of ceftriaxone. The next update of CDC’s full STI Treatment Guidelines and accompanying materials are expected to be available in 2021. Please see MMWR’s Update to CDC's Treatment Guidelines for Gonococcal Infection, 2020 for more information.

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