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Sexually Transmitted Disease Specialists

 Confidential and expert care                                                                                                                      703 532-1100

Gonorrhea

What is Gonorrhea?

Niesseria gonorrheaGonorrhea is an infection caused by bacteria called Niesseria gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can infect the genitals, anus, eyes, mouth and throat, and is sexually transmitted by oral, anal and genital sex. Gonorrhea can also be passed from a woman to her baby during delivery. It is sometimes referred to as "the clap." If not diagnosed and treated early, it may cause lifelong complications such as blindness, arthritis and infertility. It is easily treated soon after infection with antibiotics. However, the risk of re-infection is high unless the sexual partner is also treated.

How common is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is very common, with more than 700,000 (estimated) new cases each year in the United States. Both men and women may have gonorrhea without symptoms, so you can be infected without knowing that anything is wrong. In men, a yellow discharge from the penis and pain when passing urine may occur. In women, there may be a vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain and irregular menstrual bleeding.

Diagnosis requires laboratory tests to look for bacteria. Swab specimens may be taken from the urethra, throat, cervix or rectum. Gonorrhea can be simply and effectively treated with antibiotics if it is diagnosed early.

Understanding Gonorrhea

You've probably heard about "the clap," but do you know the real deal with gonorrhea?