By Larissa Borys and Julia Coburn

Description of Gonorrhea

Men and women can be affected. It can cause infections of the genitals, rectum, and throat. Gonorrhea is common in ages from 15-24 years. It is caused by infection of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium.

How the Disease is Transmitted

  • Vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner
  • Any very close physical contact
  • A mother to her baby
  • Oral sex (less common)

Signs and Symptoms

  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina/penis
  • Burning when urinating
  • Swelling of the vulva / testicles
  • Bleeding in between periods

How Gonorrhea is Diagnosed

Gonorrhea is diagnosed by a doctor taking a swab sample of fluid from either the man’s urethra or the woman’s cervix. Later, this specimen is taken into the labs to be analyzed. In addition, doctors can test your throat or anus to see if the infection traveled there. Urine tests are also available to see if the presence of the bacteria is in there. Results come back within several days.


To cure gonorrhea, your doctor will give you an oral or injectable antibiotic. It is recommended for your partner to be tested as well, in order to prevent further spread of the disease and reinfection. Take all doses of your antibiotics and never take someone else’s antibiotics.
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