Gonorrhea (a.k.a. the Clap) is a common sexually transmitted infection of the vagina, penis, anus or throat. Many people who get gonorrhea get chlamydia at the same time.
Gonorrhea is a bacteria that is spread through vaginal fluids and semen. You can get it through vaginal, anal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam.
Symptoms & Complications
Most people don’t have any symptoms. About one quarter of men and one in three women do not experience symptoms. For people who do experience symptoms, they can include:
- painful urination
- painful ejaculation
- pelvic pain
- change in discharge (this could mean change in color, odor, consistency, or amount)
Like all bacteria, gonorrhea will multiply is left untreated. If an infected person does not get tested or treated, the infection can spread and can cause
irreversible damage to the reproductive organs, leading to problems such as infertility. Gonorrhea will get worse if left untreated, even if a person never experiences symptoms.
If you are thinking about becoming sexually active or already are, it’s important to get tested. Because gonorrhea does not always show symptoms, it can be really difficult to know when someone is infected. Teen Clinic tests for gonorrhea by either a swab or most commonly through a urine sample. It’s simple! Results are available within a week or two.
Gonorrhea is curable and treatable with antibiotics. It’s important to finish the entire course, even if symptoms go away. It is also important for someone to refrain from any sexual contact for 7 days so reinfection does not occur.
For detailed information on each infection, check the Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/std/. You can also ask us an anonymous question right on our website. If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI, think you’ve been exposed to an STI, or want to talk to a professional, call Teen Clinic to make an appointment with a qualified health care provider.