Gonorrhea left untreated can cause serious symptoms in men and women.

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

How is it transmitted?

Gonorrhea is passed from person to person during oral, vaginal, or anal sex and can be transmitted by using or sharing contaminated sex toys. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted from an infected person to a baby during childbirth.

What are some of the possible symptoms?

It may take 2 to 7 days or longer for symptoms to appear after exposure to the bacteria. People with gonorrhea can have no symptoms and can unknowingly transmit it to others during sex.

A person with a vagina may experience the following:

A person with a penis may experience the following:

Gonorrhea may infect the throat, anus, and eyes and can cause:

What are some of the possible complications?

Complications may include:

How is it diagnosed?

Testing and treatment of your recent sexual partner(s) is recommended whether they have any symptoms or not.

What is the treatment?

Antibiotics and Pregnancy risk

For individuals using birth control, antibiotics may reduce its effectiveness. It is therefore recommended that a condom and a spermicide be used for the rest of the monthly cycle. Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or think that you might be pregnant.

Safer sex

Aside from abstinence, the use barriers like condoms, internal condoms, and /or dental dams every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex can reduce the risks of spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne infections (BBIs). Barriers may help prevent pregnancy and help protect you and your partners from bodily fluids and some skin-to-skin contact, which can both spread infections. If using sex toys, use condoms or wash them thoroughly between uses and between anal and vaginal sex.

For more information, call Public Health Sudbury & Districts Sexual Health Clinic

Sudbury: 705.522.9200
Manitoulin Island: 705.370.9200
Espanola: 705.222.9202
Chapleau: 705.860.9200
Sudbury East: 705.222.9201

This item was last modified on June 7, 2022