Gonorrhoea

Gonococcal Diplococci

Gonococcal Diplococci

Second only to Chamydia, gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

It is also known as “the clap”. If untreated, it spreads to many areas of the body causing joint and even heart valve problems.

How do I get the disease?

  • Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection that you can get by having sexual contact (oral/vaginal/rectal intercourse) with an infected partner.
  • Rarely, the infection can be spread by the fingers from the genitals to the oral/genitalia.

The incubation period varies but generally, symptoms appear within a week to about a month after exposure.Symptoms: How do I know I have gonorrhoea?

The majority of men and women who are infected do not show symptoms. It is estimated that as many as 70% of people are asymptomatic or have subclinical disease. Those who have symptoms or remain untreated, show:

Men

  • Whitish or yellowish discharge from the penis.
  • Burning sensation when passing urine.
Women

  • Abnormal vaginal or anal discharge, which is profuse in volume, of an unusual colour or accompanied by a strong smell.
  • Burning sensation when passing urine.

Gonorrhea can also infect the throat and/or the anus. Click the links below to find out what kind of symptoms you can get from Throat and Rectal Gonorrhea infection.

Click here for more info on Throat Gonorrhea
Click here for more info on Rectal Gonorrhea

Diagnosis: How do I get tested?

Testing for Gonorrhea these days is very simple. We just need a urine sample. This applies to both men and women.

Gonorrhoea Treatment

Gonorrhoea is very easily treated and cured. Usually one course of antibiotics will be sufficient.

Treatment should begin as soon as gonorrhoea is discovered. If treated early, one can avoid the health problems it causes.
After treatment, the patient usually needs to return to the doctor for another check to ensure that the infection is completely cleared. A test will be done which is called “test of cure”. Some types of gonorrhoea are resistant to the common antibiotics and other types of antibiotics will need to be given.

Click here to read our New Article on Gonorrhea

Complications: What if gonorrhoea is not treated or treated late?

If left undiagnosed and untreated, gonorrhoea can cause serious health problems like:

Men

  • Urethritis or inflammation of the urethra causing discharge. Long standing infection causes narrowing of the urethra with difficulty urinating and kidney problems.
  • Epididymitis, an infection which can cause infertility.
Women

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries etc) causing ectopic pregnancy, premature birth, or infertility. It can also cause severe pain.
  • If a woman is pregnant and has gonorrhoea when giving birth, the baby may be infected in the eye, which could cause blindness.

How do I protect myself?

Condoms offer some measure of protection if used properly but the only sure way to protect yourself and your partner is to get tested and treated.

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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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33 Comments

  1. Hi doctor,
    I had unprotected oral sex,i ejaculated in her mouth,does it increases my chance?and wat test do i have to take?

    • And this happened around a month ago,and i dont have any symptoms or whatsoever,just sore throat here and there,and i bad headache recently.

    • Your chance of what? HIV? No it does not. You are however at risk of many other STDs like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes etc. Please see your doctor for more advice.

  2. Hi Doc,
    I Got pus discharge from my penis and sometimes it feel like burning when u pee.I got this for 3days and eventually went to see a doctor.I’m just telling the doc the symthom that I have without Any test,i got injection and doc gave me some medicine too.I am wonder if this gonorrhea? Can it be cured?

    Kindly reply as soon as possible.

    • Without any tests it is not possible to be 100% sure of the diagnosis. What you are describing sounds like a urethritis which can be caused by Gonorrhea or several other bacteria. I suggest you ask the doctor who attended to you. Since he examined you, he will have the best idea as to what the diagnosis is.

  3. I just want to thank you for this amazing website and online consultation. You really are helping us thank you Dr.Tan for your effort and time.

  4. Mariee

    Hello Dr,
    If i got tested gonorrhea positive and ive been having white strips coming out of my eyes which i guess is gonorrhea also will the antibiotic course that i will take cure them or should i get eye droplets?
    One more question, when I get cured for gonorrhea can i still wear the underwear that i have if i wash them all over again?? Or should i get new ones in order not to be reinfected?? Thank youu

    • Gonorrhea treatment will treat Gonorrhea everywhere in the body. However, that does not mean it will definitely cure Gonorrhea everywhere in the body. It is still best to get a test of cure for the various symptomatic areas. As long as you wash your clothes well, there is no chance you can get reinfected from them.

  5. Melanie

    Hi dr Tan,
    8 months ago I had vaginal and oral and anal sex. After a while I got a sore throat and i noticed white spots on my tonsils. Then i started to feel a burning sensation while I pee with discharge. I went to a gynocologist she told me that it is just fungus(she didnt get me tested for any stds). I took the treatment for fungus and it went away for a while. Then i started again to get a lot of vaginal discharge with an odor and a stinging sensation. Plus, I started to feel cramps all the times(as if i have my period). I started to feel strange when i get my period cz it hurts more than it used to. I went to a gynocologist again she took a vaginal swab and got it tested for bacterias(not stds) it showed negative. She told me that its nothing important. Lately, I’ve been dealing with fever for 6 days now (38.5 degrees). Im taking anti-inflammatory to reduce the tiredness. I have a swelling in my neck under my ear and it hurts. Ive been having backaches and joint aches. Plus i have red pimples spread on my body(but not in big amounts). Do you think that this is gonorrhea or/and chlamydia?? What do u suggest to get tested for? And if it were gonorrhea does it seem that it got spread into the joints and blood?? What should i do please help. And i have flu like symptoms also.

    Ps: i got tested for strep in my throat and mononucleosis and the showed negative.
    Thank youu Dr Tan.

    • Yes I absolutely think it is either Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and less likely NSU. I think your fever and joint aches (if related to the infections i.e. it could be a common cold) are just systemic manifestations of an infection i.e. signs that your body is trying to fight off something. If the Gonorrhea is in your blood and joints you will be in hospital by now. You will be extremely sick and in severe pain. I cannot give you medical advice over the internet but I must say you would benefit from a full STD screen especially for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Please get this done soon.

  6. Fred Dickson

    Hi one quick question, do you always have discharge from the penis if you have gonorrhea and Chlamydia?

    Thanks

    • Up to 80% of men with chlamydia and 10% of men with gonorrhea do not develop any symptoms. I.e. no discharge no pain passing urine nothing

  7. Hi dr. Tan,
    I wanna ask if I do an operation and i remove my throat will oral gonorrhea and chlamydia go away? I know that i can cure them with antibiotics but will the operation do?

    • Remove your throat? I’m afraid that is incompatible with life. You probably mean remove your tonsils. I wouldn’t bet on this curing Gonorrhea or Chlamydia because the infection may not be limited to just the tonsils. You still need antibiotics.

  8. Hi Doc,
    After having unprotected sex with active partner,after 24 hrs i have an problem with frequent urination/urge to urine.After that we both got tested HIV antibody test both tested and found .04 non reactive,doc plz help me out is there any risk of HIV+?

    • Sounds to me like you caught a UTI. It could however still be an STD. If this is the case, it increases your risk of HIV. Your partner could be in the window period of HIV testing. Either way, you have to repeat your HIV test to be sure you did not catch HIV. The tests you can do are RNA PCR 10 days, Combo 28 days, Antibody 3 months. Click here for info on HIV testing window period.

  9. i had discharge before and I treated with anti- biotics. After 2 weeks. Discharge and itchyness disappeared until no more symptoms. Does it like cured? I know I have to see my doctor but with how you see it? Is it cured?

    • The only way for you to be certain whether it is cleared or not is to get another test. Not having symptoms is obviously a good sign.

  10. Hi Dr, can gonorrhoea be treated by oral antibiotics only?

    • Possible but the risk of anti-biotic resistance is extremely high. If we are able to culture the gonorrhoea and determine anti-biotic sensitivity, it would be very helpful in selecting anti-biotics.

  11. Hello doc, my concern is, I have unprotected anal oral sex within 1 and half month ago, but after that my anus become itchy, no discharge n no pain when pass motion, I went to skin specialist n he said “its a little infection n it’ll go away” he prescribe me an antibiotic cream n a relief gel foam, its been a month now,the itching does go away but the region around there starts like discomfort n irritate especially when I walk.even its now reduce slowly day by day, am I experiencing gonorrhea?

  12. I was treated last Wednesday for gonorrhea but my stomach still feels funny… I was wondering how long does it take to be cured and I used the same wash cloth I was using one day after I received treatment. Will I get reinfected and what about sex toys, does the disease live on the toys… Should I throw them away?

    • Gonorrhea symptoms usually disappear very quickly after treatment. Defnitely within 3 days. Yes you should either throw away or disinfect all your sex toys. Please ask any follow up questions on http://www.askdrtan.com

  13. Oh ya forgot to mention my last exposure was one year ago and tested last month. Result not detected.

  14. Hi dr tan.

    I did a vaginal swab gonorrhoeae pcr result not detected. Does this mean I do not have gonorrhoeae? Do I need to do a throat test as I gave unprotected oral sex before. Is this available at your clinic and how much?

    Thank you

  15. hi doc,
    i had sex with diffrent guys on three diffrent occassions recently – 20 feb, 26 feb, 12 march, on the first one i did an anal, twas protected though, the latter two did an oral on me, i started seeing some discharge on my unbder wear, its like greenish and i started feeling some funny sensations down there, ranging from itchy to needle prick at at the end of my penis…. thend this morning, i had another dischrge when i was about to pee, not that much, and it is accompanied with the same feeling… just wanna ask how long is the maximum and minimum incabation period of Gonorrhoea? based on the symptoms that i discussed is it possiblr that i may have contracted it? how much is the urethral swab?

    • Hi Chris,

      Your symptoms definitely suggest that you have a urethritis. It does sound like Gonorrhea however we must also rule out other infections like Chlamydia and NSU. Gonorrhea symptoms can appear anytime from 3 to 30 days post exposure although the vast majority will develop symptoms by 2 weeks. However remember that 10% of people with Gonorrhea infection never develop any symptoms. If you really have Gonorrhea you also need to test for other STDs like HIV and syphilis. You need to see a doctor ASAP. Gonorrhea infections can get really bad if left untreated.

      Rgds

      Dr Tan
      Check out our new forum at http://www.askdrtan.com

  16. Can you throw light on the symptoms of throat gonorrhea?

  17. i got gonorrhoea symptoms in 3-5 recent days. i would like to ask where can i go for treatment. and how is the fee for full treatment?

    please reply to my email as soon as possible
    thank you so much

    [email protected]om

    • Hi Ted,
      All our clinics offer STD testing and treatment.
      The fees will depend on what tests your need and what treatment you require.
      We cannot assume a gonorrhea infection based on symptoms alone.
      Dr Tan

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