What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.
You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.
Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, men who do have symptoms, may have:
- A burning sensation when urinating;
- A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis;
- Painful or swollen testicles (this is less common).
Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms.
Symptoms in women can include:
- Painful or burning sensation when urinating;
- Increased vaginal discharge;
- Vaginal bleeding between periods.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD, such as an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
Sexually active woman younger than 25 years should get tested for gonorrhea every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for gonorrhea every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); as well as pregnant women should also get tested for gonorrhea.
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