The cause of gonorrhea is from a bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, that can grow and multiply easily in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women whereas in men, it grows in the urethra.

How is it transmitted?

Gonorrhea is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. It can also be spread perinatally from mother to baby during childbirth.
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  • It is estimated that around 800,000 cases of gonorrhea occur each year in the United States.
  • The cost of gonorrhea and its complications is around $1.1 billion dollars each year.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, caused by gonorrhea, affects one million women every year.
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  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina.
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Burning when urinating.
  • Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
  • Bleeding between periods.
  • Spotting after intercourse.
  • Swelling of the vulva (vulvitis)
  • Burning in the throat (due to oral sex)


  • greater frequency or urgency of urination.
  • a pus-like discharge (or drip) from the penis (white, yellow, beige, or greenish)
  • swelling or redness at the opening of the penis.
  • swelling or pain in the testicles.
  • a persistent sore throat.

Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by urine testing, urethral (for men), or endocervical or vaginal (for women) specimens using nucleic acid amplification testing.

Medication for gonorrhea should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. Antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhea is of increasing concern, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult. If a person’s symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
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  • Always use protection during sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners and avoid high-risk partners.
  • Know the sexual history of your partners.
  • Urinate after sexual activity.
  • Perform regular genital self-examinations.
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