Gonorrhea treatment

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Gonorrhea: Symptoms, Causes, Transmission, Treatment and Prevention

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, but is curable with antibiotics. Doctors at Dr Monga’s in Delhi have vast experience of successfully treating gonorrhea patients. If you are looking for the best gonorrhea treatment, book a consultation with Dr Monga’s today.

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea, commonly referred to as “the clap” or “drip”, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae). It spreads through sexual fluids such as vaginal fluid and semen and can be contracted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, as well as by sharing sex toys with an infected person.

Often, gonorrhea does not produce symptoms, making it possible to unknowingly transmit it to partners. N. gonorrhoeae can infect the urethra, rectum, female reproductive system, mouth, throat, or eyes. It can also be transmitted to babies during childbirth, typically affecting their eyes.

Regular testing, as advised by your healthcare provider/board certified doctor, practicing safe sex, and being in a mutually monogamous relationship, where both partners are sexually exclusive and uninfected can help reduce the risk of infection to a great extent.

Who gets gonorrhea?

People of any age or gender who are sexually active can contract gonorrhea and transmit it to their partners. It is also possible to pass the infection to a baby during childbirth.

The risk of infection is higher if you:

  • Are under 25 years old
  • Have a history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Do not use condoms or dental dams consistently during sex
  • Have sexual partners who have not tested negative for gonorrhea
  • Are a man who has sex with other men

How common is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is the second most prevalent bacterial STI, followed by chlamydia. These two infections frequently occur simultaneously. Each year, approximately 1.14 million new gonorrhea cases are reported in the United States, with about half of these infections affecting individuals aged 15 to 24.

Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea does not always present itself with symptoms. However, even without symptoms, you can still pass the infection to others.

In fact, you may be more likely to transmit gonorrhea to your sexual partners when you are asymptomatic because you are unaware of the infection.

According to a study, signs and symptoms of gonorrhea are more likely to be noticeable in the morning. Here are the most common symptoms of gonorrhea in men and women:

If you are a man

Symptoms of gonorrhea may become noticeable within 2 to 30 days after exposure. It, however, may take several weeks for symptoms to manifest, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all.

The first sign you might notice is a burning sensation or pain during urination.

Other potential symptoms include:

  • Increased frequency or urgency of urination
  • A pus-like discharge from the penis, which may be yellow, white, beige, or greenish
  • Discoloration and swelling at the penis opening
  • Swelling or pain in the testicles
  • Itching and soreness in the anus
  • Rectal bleeding or discharge
  • Pain during bowel movements

If you are a woman

Many women do not exhibit symptoms of gonorrhea. If symptoms do occur, they can appear anywhere from a day to several weeks after exposure.

These symptoms are often quite mild and can resemble those of a vaginal yeast infection or other bacterial infections, making them harder to identify.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Watery, creamy, or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Heavier periods or spotting between periods
  • Pain during vaginal intercourse
  • Sharp pain in the lower abdomen
  • Itching and soreness in the anus
  • Rectal bleeding or discharge
  • Painful bowel movements

Other gonorrhea symptoms

Gonorrhea can affect your mouth and throat as well.

Oral gonorrhea too often does not show symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Persistent sore throat.
  • Inflammation and redness in the throat.
  • Swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck.

Gonorrhea can also lead to fever.

In rare cases, gonorrhea can affect your eyes too. This typically occurs if you touch the infected area, like your genitals, and subsequently touch your eyes without thoroughly washing your hands.

Symptoms of gonococcal conjunctivitis, or gonorrhea of the eye, may involve:

  • Eye discomfort, irritation, and sensitivity
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Inflammation and redness of the eye
  • Sticky white or yellow discharge around the eye

How is gonorrhea transmitted?

Gonorrhea can be contracted or transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

Employing condoms or other barrier methods during sexual encounters can significantly reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting STIs like gonorrhea. It, however, is important to note that these methods may not completely eliminate the risk, particularly if not used correctly. Here is how to use condoms and barrier methods properly.

There is some evidence suggesting that oral gonorrhea may also spread through French kissing or deep kissing. However, further research is required to fully comprehend the potential transmission risk.

Individuals who have previously had gonorrhea are at a heightened risk of contracting it again. Moreover, untreated gonorrhea can elevate the risk of acquiring other STIs.

Gonorrhea can also be passed from a birthing parent to their baby during delivery.

What causes gonorrhea?

Infection occurs when the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea (N. gonorrhoeae) enter the body via sexual fluids, such as semen or vaginal secretions, often during unprotected sexual activity. 

The bacteria can enter through various routes, including the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation is not necessary for transmission, and sharing sex toys that have not been properly cleaned or covered with a new condom can also spread gonorrhea. Even close genital contact without penetration can also expose you to the infection.

In females, the cervix, the gateway between vagina and the uterus, is most commonly affected.

For males, infection typically begins in the urethra, the tube responsible for urine expulsion from the body.

What does not cause gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is highly contagious and can spread readily during sexual encounters. However, not all forms of intimacy or exchanges of bodily fluids pose a risk for gonorrhea transmission. You cannot contract gonorrhea through:

  • Kissing, hand holding or hugging
  • Sharing food, beverages, or utensils
  • Using the same toilet as someone else
  • Inhaling droplets from coughs or sneezes

Tests for gonorrhea

A board certified doctor can diagnose gonorrhea using several methods:

  • Urine testing: Gonorrhea can often be detected through a urine test.
  • Fluid sample testing: Your doctor may swab your penis, vagina, throat, or rectum to collect a fluid sample for testing. This method requires a laboratory culture, which may take several days to produce results.
  • Blood testing: In rare cases, a blood culture may be used to diagnose gonorrhea, although this method may not always provide conclusive results.

Test results are typically available within a few days, though this can vary depending on the clinic or testing facility.

If you suspect you have gonorrhea, it is crucial to abstain from sexual activity until you receive a negative test result.

Alternatively, your doctor may ask you to purchase an at-home gonorrhea testing kit for diagnosis.

Complications of gonorrhea

Individuals who receive prompt treatment and adhere to treatment guidelines can return to their regular routines. Without proper treatment, untreated gonorrhea can lead to various long-term health complications, and in severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.

Complications in women

Untreated gonorrhea in females can lead to various complications, such as:

  • It can spread to other reproductive organs like the uterus and fallopian tubes, and may result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID may cause infertility and ectopic pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks to both the mother and the baby.
  • Untreated gonorrhea in mothers can also cause eye problems in newborns, potentially leading to blindness.
  • Additionally, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, causing joint swelling and pain, liver inflammation, and damage to the heart valves and brain.

Complications in men

Untreated gonorrhea in males can result in various complications, such as:

  • Infertility
  • Scarring of the urethra
  • Inflammation of the testicles
  • Prostate pain and inflammation
  • If the infection spreads throughout the body, it can lead to additional issues such as swollen and painful joints, liver inflammation, and damage to the heart valves and brain

What happens if I get gonorrhea during pregnancy?

Consult with your healthcare provider promptly. Untreated gonorrhea in birthing parents can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth, potentially leading to health issues for the newborn such as low birth weight and blindness.

Your healthcare provider will assist you in obtaining the appropriate testing and treatment to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.

Treatment of gonorrhea

Modern antibiotics are typically effective in curing gonorrhea.

Over-the-counter medications or home remedies are not suitable for treating gonorrhea. If you suspect you have gonorrhea or if a sexual partner has received a positive test result, it is essential to seek diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare professional.


The most commonly opted treatment for gonorrhea is a single intramuscular injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, usually administered in the buttocks.

Additionally, a board certified doctor might prescribe an oral medication, such as doxycycline taken twice daily for 7 days, if chlamydia is also suspected.

Previously, the CDC recommended ceftriaxone combined with azithromycin, but guidelines have changed due to increasing resistance of gonorrhea bacteria to azithromycin.

After starting these antibiotics, symptoms should begin to improve within a few days. However, it is important to wait a full week after completing the medication before engaging in any sexual activity.

For oral gonorrhea, a follow-up with a healthcare professional 1 to 2 weeks after treatment is necessary to ensure the infection has been fully cleared.

Notably, the above discussed modes of treatments are commonly used by doctors, but you are strictly advised not to self-medicate as it may result in worsening of your condition. These antibiotics should only be administered after your healthcare provider thoroughly examines your condition.

Ayurvedic Treatment for gonorrhea

Ayurvedic treatments for gonorrhea focus on balancing the body’s doshas and using natural remedies to alleviate symptoms and support the body’s healing process.  The most common ayurvedic approaches to treat gonorrhea include use of herbs and natural remedies, dietary guidelines, healthy lifestyle practices, and some ayurvedic formulations like Chandraprabha Vati and Punarnava.

While Ayurvedic treatments can support overall health, gonorrhea is a serious infection that requires intervention of modern medical science too. Ayurvedic remedies should be used in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, antibiotics and other treatments prescribed by your healthcare professional.

Integrated Treatment of Gonorrhea

Integrated treatment encompasses the goodness of ancient ayurvedic practices to help your body fight the condition at the optimal level, while using modern medical science to get rid of the infection quickly.

The team of doctors at the Dr Monga’s in Delhi has multiple years of experience in treating gonorrhea patients using integrated methods. They use allopathy and ayurveda together to give you the best and quick results in your treatment journey.

If you are also experiencing any symptoms of gonorrhea or any other STI/STD, book a consultation with Dr Monga’s today and say goodbye to your health worries forever.

Can gonorrhea be cured?

Antibiotics are effective in curing gonorrhea.

However, the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea presents challenges for effective treatment.

It is crucial to complete the entire course of medication to fully eradicate the infection, even if symptoms disappear before finishing the complete course.

If symptoms persist after completing the prescribed antibiotics, contact your healthcare professional promptly for an alternative treatment plan.

Preventing gonorrhea

The only sure way to prevent gonorrhea is to abstain from sex. For many, a more practical approach is to minimize the risk of contracting and transmitting the infection. Here are a few steps to lower your risk:

  • Always use a condom or dental dam during sex
  • Avoid sexual activity with someone who has an active infection
  • Refrain from sex with individuals showing symptoms of gonorrhea
  • Limit the number of sexual partners and communicate openly about sexual activities
  • Get tested for gonorrhea and encourage your partners to do the same

While no protection method is foolproof if you are sexually active, such as the possibility of condom breakage, taking these precautions can significantly reduce your risk of infection.

How often should I get tested for gonorrhea?

The CDC recommends that all sexually active females under the age of 25 should undergo annual gonorrhea testing. Regardless of gender, you may also need yearly testing if you are considered at high risk for contracting gonorrhea. Risk factors include age, sexual activity, and the prevalence of gonorrhea in your area.

Discuss with your healthcare provider how frequently you should be tested based on your specific risk factors.

What to do if you have contracted gonorrhea

If you suspect you might have contracted gonorrhea, abstain from sexual activity and schedule an appointment with a qualified doctor at the earliest to confirm your suspicion.

During your visit, you will be asked about your:

  • Symptoms
  • Sexual health history
  • Sexual partner(s)

Discussing sexual health can feel a bit uncomfortable for some, but it is crucial to remember that healthcare professionals are trained to diagnose and treat health conditions with compassion and respect.

Contacting any previous partners

If you have been diagnosed with gonorrhea, you should immediately inform your current sexual partner(s) to get tested for gonorrhea.

It is essential because gonorrhea often shows no symptoms. People unaware of their infection may not seek testing or treatment, potentially spreading the infection unknowingly and risking serious, sometimes permanent, reproductive health issues.

Living With Gonorrhea

It is very tough and risky to live with gonorrhea as it may cause severe complications and put your life in complete jeopardy. Hence, it is suggested to see a doctor when you notice the first sign of gonorrhea or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Can I have sex after gonorrhea treatment?

You should talk to your doctor so that he/she can evaluate your condition and advise you on when it will be safe to resume sexual activity. Generally, you should wait at least a week after both you and your partner(s) have completed all prescribed medications before engaging in sex. Additionally, ensure that all symptoms have resolved before resuming sexual activity.

How can I take care of myself when I am suffering from gonorrhea?

If you are sexually active and at high risk for gonorrhea, regular STI testing is important. Many STIs, including gonorrhea, often do not show symptoms, meaning you could unknowingly infect others. Additionally, untreated gonorrhea can lead to complications that regular testing and prompt treatment can help prevent.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?

If you have gonorrhea, consider asking the following questions:


  • What tests are required to diagnose gonorrhea?
  • Should I also be tested for chlamydia?
  • How can I determine if the infection has affected my reproductive system?
  • How will I know if the medication has fully cleared the infection?
  • What is the best way to inform my partner(s) that they might have gonorrhea?
  • How can I determine how long I have been contagious?
  • How can I prevent reinfection while maintaining a healthy sex life?


If you suspect you may have contracted gonorrhea, it is important to get tested promptly. Remember, gonorrhea is a common infection, and there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

To prevent the transmission or contraction of gonorrhea, use barrier methods during all sexual activities, get regular STI/STD tests, and discuss STIs with your partner(s) before beginning a sexual relationship.

Additionally, consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner as soon as possible to start your treatment at the earliest. 

Dr Monga’s has been in business for over 70 years now and has treated thousands of patients suffering from gonorrhea. Using the integrated treatment method has proved very vital for several of our patients who have gotten better in a quick span of time.


The very first noticeable symptom of gonorrhea may be burning or pain while urinating.

The most common symptom of gonorrhea is the absence of any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they can easily be mistaken for yeast infections or other bacterial infections. Typical symptoms include changes in discharge or odor, painful urination or bowel movements, and itching.

Gonorrhea does not resolve on its own. Antibiotics are necessary to treat gonorrhea and, in most cases, they effectively eliminate the infection.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are sexually transmitted infections caused by distinct strains of bacteria. Each infection requires specific antibiotics for effective treatment.

If treated promptly, gonorrhea is unlikely to cause complications or long-term issues. However, without treatment, it can spread to other parts of the body and lead to serious problems. Repeated infections also put you at a higher risk of developing complications.

The best possible way to prevent gonorrhea is not to have intercourse completely. If that does not sound practical, you must practice safe sex by using condoms and dental dams for all types of sex. It is worth noting that gonorrhea may spread through unprotected oral sex too.

Testing for gonorrhea can be as simple as providing a urine sample. Your nurse or doctor may also test any discharge from your urethra, vagina, or anus. Sometimes, they will use a swab to collect cell samples from your penis, cervix, urethra, anus, or throat. These samples are then tested for gonorrhea bacteria.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also known as gonococcus.

Gonorrhea spreads through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is transmitted via semen, pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. It can affect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, throat, and, though rarely, the eyes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs) annually in the United States. The most common STIs in the country are HPV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

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