Gonorrhea : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Management

Gonorrhea : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Management

It is a common human sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. It is most common in young adults. The bacteria that cause gonorrhea can infect the genital tract, mouth, or anus. Gonorrhea generally spreads during vaginal, oral, or anal sexual encounter with an infected partner. A pregnant woman can pass it to her baby during childbirth. The usual symptoms in men are burning with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain. In both men and women if gonorrhea is left untreated, it may spread locally causing epididymitis or pelvic inflammatory disease or throughout the body, affecting joints and heart valves.


Men: Men who contract gonorrhoea may experience symptoms like:

  •  An unusual white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis
  •  Pain or a burning sensation during passing urine
  •  Inflammation (swelling) of the foreskin
  •  Pain or tenderness in the testicles or prostate gland (though is rare)

Women: In women, symptoms of gonorrhea can include:

  •  An unusual thick discharge from the vagina, which may be green or yellow in color
  •  Pain during passing urine
  •  Pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area (this is less common)
  •  Bleeding between periods or heavier periods (this is less common)

Men and women: Both men and women can also catch gonorrhoea at other sites of the body. These include infection in the:

  • Rectum causing pain, discomfort or discharge in and around anal region
  • Throat, which does not usually have any symptoms
  • Eyes, which can cause pain, swelling, irritation and discharge (conjunctivitis)


Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The infection is transmitted from one person to another through vaginal, oral or anal sex. The bacteria are usually found in discharge from the penis and vaginal fluid of infected men and women. Pregnant women can spread gonorrhoea to the baby during birth. This can lead to newborn baby having an infection of the eyes (conjunctivitis), which can lead to blindness if not treated.


Gonorrhea is diagnosed with gram stain or with culture of the bacteria, however newer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based testing methods are becoming more common.

For further diagnosis and confirmation, please consult your physician.


It is important to receive treatment for gonorrhea quickly. Gonorrhea can be treated with a single dose of antibiotics, usually one of the following:

  • Ceftriaxone
  • Cefixime
  • Spectinomycin
  • Partner should also get treatment for gonorrhea, even if he/she has no signs or symptoms.

For treatment purpose please consult your physician.


The risk of infection can be reduced significantly by using condoms and by having a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected person.