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Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease, especially among teens and young adults.
What Is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection. It is a common sexually transmitted disease, especially among teens and young adults. If detected early, gonorrhea can be easily cured with antibiotics. Left untreated, gonorrhea can have serious long-term health consequences. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to infertility in both men and women. During pregnancy, gonorrhea can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, and serious eye infections among newborns. Gonorrhea also can facilitate HIV transmission.

How Is It Spread?

Gonorrhea is spread through genital, anal, and oral sex. Gonorrhea also can be passed from mother to baby during delivery.

What Are the Symptoms?

Most women infected with gonorrhea experience no symptoms or only mild symptoms. About half of all infected men are symptomatic. If symptoms are present, they may include vaginal discharge/discharge from the penis, pain or burning during urination, abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding (women), or swelling or pain in the testicles (men).

How Is It Diagnosed?

Visit your health-care provider or a family-planning clinic and ask to be tested.

How Is It Treated?

Several commonly used antibiotics are effective in treating gonorrhea. Sexual partners must be treated at the same time.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Use a latex condom correctly each time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Information Resources

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From the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.