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, or gonococcal urethritis, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. It is spread by unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Gonorrhea causes inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube where urine passes from the bladder to the outside of the body. Anyone with multiple sexual partners is at higher risk for gonorrhea.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Feeling like you need to urinate more frequently than usual
  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Pain in your lower abdomen, penis, or vaginal area
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Thick, yellow-green discharge coming from your penis or vagina
  • Fever

Seek care immediately if:

  • Chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Pain and swelling in your scrotum if you are male
  • Pain in your abdomen or joints

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for gonorrhea

may include antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. Both you and your sexual partner have to be treated to prevent gonorrhea from spreading.

Prevent the spread of gonorrhea:

  • Use a condom during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Ask for more information about the correct way to use condoms.
  • Do not have sex with someone who has gonorrhea. This includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
  • Do not have sex while you or your partner are being treated for gonorrhea. Ask when it is safe to have sex.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant. Gonorrhea can be passed to an infant during birth.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Gonorrhea (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.