Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can be spread during sexual intercourse. A man does not have to ejaculate to spread the infection.

Some people have symptoms (pain while urinating, discharge from the penis or vagina), while others have no symptoms at all. The infection can be spread from one person to another before it is diagnosed.

Testing for gonorrhea is done in a medical office or clinic. Testing can be done with a swab of the penis or cervix or with a urine sample. If untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious complications in both men and women. In addition, people with gonorrhea are at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Gonorrhea can be cured with an antibiotic. Sexual partners of a person with gonorrhea should also be treated. Sex should be avoided until both partners have been treated.

Using a latex condom reduces the risk of becoming infected with gonorrhea.

Regular testing for sexually transmitted infections is recommended, especially before having sex with a new partner. Sex should be avoided if either partner has abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, burning with urination, or a genital rash or sore.

Where to Get More Information

Your healthcare provider is the best source of information for questions and concerns related to your medical problem. Because no two patients are exactly alike and recommendations can vary from one person to another, it is important to seek guidance from a provider who is familiar with your individual situation.


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To schedule or cancel appointments, call: 814-898-6217.

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.