Gonorrhea is a type of STI (sexually transmitted infection) due to Neisseria gonorrhea or gonococcus and also known as “the clap.”
Gonorrhea symptoms tend to develop within two weeks of infection, but at certain times they might now appear until months later.
Symptoms in women
- Unusual vaginal discharge (thin or watery and green or yellow)
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Tenderness or pain in the lower abdominal area (the symptom is less common)
- Vaginal bleeding between periods, heavier periods, and bleeding after intercourse (also less common symptoms)
Symptoms in men
- Uncommon discharge from the tip of the penis (white, yellow, or green)
- Pain and burning sensation while urination
- Swelling o the foreskin
- Pain or tenderness in testicles (less common symptom)
- Eye infection due to gonorrhea can lead to irritation, swelling, pain, and discharge.
- Throat infection due to gonorrhea usually appear with no symptoms.
Gonorrhea in babies
Gonorrhea passes through a baby from an infected mother during childbirth. Babies often show symptoms of the disease in their eyes during the first two weeks. The eyes turn swollen and red and can have a thick, pus-like discharge.
Testing is the only method to identify if you have gonorrhea, and it is crucial not to delay testing if you suspect the infection or any other type of STIs. It’s possible to test within a few days after intercourse, but it’s recommendable to wait up to a week. You can also test even if you have no symptoms and want to ensure.
Early diagnosis and gonorrhea treatments can reduce the risks of other complications like pelvic inflammatory disease or testicle infections. Complications in later stages are much more difficult to treat.
Often, the treatment involves antibiotic injection or antibiotic tablets, as you prefer. If you have any symptoms, these may help you improve within a few days, but it might take up to two weeks for any pelvis or testicle pain to disappear completely.
A follow-up appointment in a week or two after the treatment is highly recommended to monitor the infection’s status. You should avoid sexual activities until the doctor gives the all-clear sign to prevent re-infection or to pass the disease to others. If there are no improvements, you should need to consult a doctor again and repeat treatments
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022