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May 26, 2020
What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea.
How do people get Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. Gonorrhea can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.


People who have had gonorrhea and received treatment may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with gonorrhea.


Although many men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all, some men have some signs or symptoms that appear two to five days after infection. Symptoms and signs include a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles.


In women, the symptoms of gonorrhea are often mild, but most women who are infected have no symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they can be so non-specific as to be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. The initial symptoms and signs in women include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms.


Several laboratory tests are available to diagnose gonorrhea. A doctor or nurse can obtain a sample for testing from the parts of the body likely to be infected and send the sample to a laboratory for analysis. A quick laboratory test for gonorrhea that can be done right at Belize Medical Associates Laboratory is a Gram stain. A Gram stain of a sample from a urethra or a cervix allows the technician to see the gonorrhea bacterium under a microscope. This test works better for men than for women.

How is Gonorrhea cured?

Several antibiotics can successfully cure gonorrhea in adolescents and adults.  Persons with gonorrhea should be tested for other STDs.


It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure gonorrhea. People who have had gonorrhea and have been treated can get the disease again if they have sexual contact with persons infected with gonorrhea. If a person’s symptoms continue even after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a doctor to be re-evaluated.

How do people avoid getting Gonorrhea?

The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.


Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea.