What is it?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. It used to be known as ‘the clap’.

What are the symptoms?

In many cases, gonorrhea infection causes no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, gonorrhea infection can affect multiple sites in your body, but it commonly appears in the genital tract.

Gonorrhea affecting the genital tract

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea infection in men include:

  • Painful urination.
  • Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis.
  • Pain or swelling in one testicle.

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea infection in women include:

  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Painful urination.
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, such as after vaginal intercourse.
  • Painful intercourse.
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Gonorrhea at other sites in the body.

Gonorrhea can also affect these parts of the body:


Signs and symptoms include anal itching, pus-like discharge from the rectum, spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue and having to strain during bowel movements.


Gonorrhea that affects your eyes may cause eye pain, sensitivity to light, and pus-like discharge from one or both eyes.


Signs and symptoms of a throat infection may include a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.


If one or more joints become infected by bacteria (septic arthritis), the affected joints may be warm, red, swollen and extremely painful, especially when you move an affected joint.

What to expect?

If you are diagnosed with gonorrhea you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor after the initial treatment:

  • Through unprotected sex other sexually transmitted infections (STI) can be transmitted as well. Do you need to tested for more STI’s besides gonorrhea?
  • How you can prevent getting infected with gonorrhea again after treatment.
  • Which of your sexual partners do you need to inform to get tested for gonorrhea as well?

Think you might have Gonorrhea?

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Think you might have Gonorrhea?