• Gonorrhea is a very common and curable STI caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrheae.
  • Young adults are most at risk for contracting gonorrhea.
  • 60% of gonorrhea infections occur in people ages 15 to 24.
  • Between 60-to-73% of young adults diagnosed with an STI become infected again in less than one year.

Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex and ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. In addition, the bacteria can grow in the mouth, throat and rectum and can spread to other unlikely parts of the body.

The majority of men experience some symptoms. These include a burning sensation when urinating, a yellowish white discharge from the penis and painful or swollen testicles.

In women, the early symptoms of gonorrhea are mild and many women who are infected have no symptoms of infection. However, when a woman does experience symptoms they are often mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Initial symptoms include a painful, burning sensation when urinating and vaginal discharge that can be yellow or bloody.



In men, gonorrhea can cause a condition called epididymitis. This is a painful condition of the testicles that can sometimes lead to infertility and scarring in the urethra.

In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious infection of the reproductive organs. Women with PID do not necessarily have signs or symptoms, but PID can lead to long-lasting pelvic pain and infertility.


Since many people with gonorrhea have no symptoms, talk to your doctor about being tested. Your doctor may recommend a simple urine test. With today's technology, testing is as simple as providing a urine sample. Usually, your physician will have results for you within a few days.

If you test positive for gonorrhea, your doctor will give you a prescription for antibiotics. Make sure to take all of the prescribed medicine.


It is important to use condoms every time you have sex. However, condoms do not provide complete protection from all STIs. Sores and lesions can be present in areas not covered by the condom and this can result in transmission of infection.

Limit the number of sex partners you have and talk with them about STIs. If you think you may be infected, avoid sexual contact and see a health care provider immediately.