How to Treat Gonorrhea

Two Methods:Identifying GonorrheaTreating Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that can affect the reproductive tract in men and women. Gonorrhea can occur in the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in both genders. Gonorrhea can also affect the throat, eyes, mouth, and anus. While gonorrhea will not go away on its own, the disease can be treated, and cured, with proper medical care.[1]

Method 1
Identifying Gonorrhea

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    Remember that any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea. If you have had sex recently, you could be infected. In the United States, however, the highest reported rates of infection are among sexually active teenagers, young adults, and African Americans.[2]
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    Learn the symptoms of Gonorrhea that present in males. They include burning or pain when urinating, blood tinged urine, discharge from the penis (white, yellow, or green in color), swollen or painful tip of penis that is red in color, and tender or swollen testicles. In addition, frequent urination and sore throat can also be symptoms.[3]
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    Learn the symptoms that present in females. Symptoms in women can be very mild. They can be mistaken for another type of infection. The only way to differentiate bacteria is by doing serological tests (specific antibody detection) and cultures (taking a sample of the infected area and see what organism grows).[4]
    • Symptoms in women include: vaginal discharge (can have a yeast smell at times), burning/pain when urinating, increased urination, sore throat, painful sexual intercourse, fever, and severe pain in the lower abdomen if the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes.
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    Look for symptoms of gonorrhea. Symptoms may appear within 2 to 10 days of infection, or as late as 30 days after infection in males.[5]. Most do not exhibit any signs or symptoms; up to 20% of infected males and up to 80% of infected females have no presentation.[6] Signs and symptoms can be very non-specific, so if you suspect you have gonorrhea at all, contact your doctor.
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    Know that gonorrhea requires medical treatment. If left untreated, it can cause numerous serious health problems, including chronic pain and infertility in both men and women. Eventually, untreated gonorrhea can be spread to the blood and joints, which can be a life-threatening condition.
    • On the other hand, gonorrhea that is treated will by cured by antibiotics and the symptoms will go away.

Method 2
Treating Gonorrhea

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    Don't avoid treatment and think the infection will just go away. Without treatment, gonorrhea will cause serious health problems. Both males and females can experience a condition known as disseminated gonorrhea. The bacteria has entered the bloodstream and spread to the skin and joints. This leads to fevers, maculopapular skin rash (tiny raised painful circular lesions from the neck down), and severe joint pains.
    • Complications of gonorrhea for women include inflammation of the fallopian tubes leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (sever lower abdominal pain). This can lead to severe scars within the area causing future pregnancy complications and infertility. In addition, a untreated inflamed pelvis can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus).
    • In males, a condition called epididymitis can develop leading to pain behind the testes and eventually infertility.
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    Understand that untreated gonorrhea can increase your chances of HIV infection. Gonorrhea contains proteins that allow HIV to replicate itself quicker, increasing the likelihood of passing along HIV. Those who are negative for HIV but have gonorrhea are five times more likely to acquire the virus.
    • Do not engage in sexual activity till the you are cured of the symptoms, as you may pass it along to someone else. Advise your sexual partners for evaluation and treatment since gonorrhea can go undetected without symptoms at first.
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    Visit your nearest health clinic or your doctor's office. Explain your history and complaints. Your doctor or nurse may ask the following questions: When did you have sex last? Did you perform oral, anal, or vaginal sex? How many partners do you have? Do you use protection? Gonorrhea is a sexual transmitted disease that can spread through sexual activity. The more sexual active partners the higher the risk.
    • Drink some water before going to the office. Your doctor will take a urine sample to see any white blood cells (immune cells), blood, or hints of infection in the urine.
    • If you are female, a urine pregnancy test may be performed.
    • Confirmatory testing will always be performed. This is an infection that is required by law to be reported to the health department and the CDC.
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    Follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment. When gonorrhea is diagnosed, doctors also normally treat as if chlamydia is there as well, as there is a high rate of co-infection These two bacteria are very common sexually transmitted diseases and can lead to similar symptoms. Your doctor will provide treatment for both.
    • The healthcare provider will clean the area (usually shoulder muscle) with an alcohol swab and Inject a 250mg dose intramuscularly of ceftriaxone to treat the gonorrhea. This medication is part of the cephalosporin class of antibiotics and prevents growth of the gonorrhea cell wall.
    • In addition your doctor will prescribe you, or give you, a one time dose of 1 gram Azithromycin. A 7 day course of 100mg Doxycycline twice a day can be substituted for the azithromycin to treat for chlamydia[7]. Both these drugs prevent important enzymes and structural components of gonorrhea from being formed by interrupting protein synthesis.


  • With basic safe-sex behaviors, gonorrhea can be prevented. Some of these include: wearing a condom during intercourse or oral sex, getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, having all of your sexual partners be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, abstaining from sex, and reducing high risk sexual behaviors.

Article Info

Categories: Sexually Transmitted Diseases