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 anal, vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. If you are a pregnant woman and have gonorrhea, you can give the infection to your baby during childbirth. Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea through unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs.

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Key Facts

  • Anyone who is sexually active can get gonorrhea.
  • Gonorrhea can be cured with the right medication.
  • It is becoming harder to treat some gonorrhea, as drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing.
  • Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in both women and men.
  • Untreated gonorrhea can increase a person’s risk of getting or transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Media

Two men

Men Who Have Sex with Men

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk. Even if you are a sexually active man who is gay, bisexual, or who has sex with men, you should be tested for gonorrhea every year.

Woman talking to doctor

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs.

Drug Resistant Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

Drug-resistant Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can result in life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and infertility, and can increase the risk of getting and giving HIV.

Prevention Tips

  • The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  • If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting gonorrhea:
    • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
    • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

More at CDC.gov

Page last reviewed: July 2, 2020

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