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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Gonorrhea can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery. For men symptoms of gonorrhea infection include a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. In women, the symptoms of gonorrhea are often mild, but most women who are infected have no symptoms. The initial symptoms and signs in women include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms. These complications include pelvic inflammatory disease that may cause long term damage to the fallopian tubes and result in infertility or tubal (Ectopic) pregnancy. Several antibiotics can successfully cure gonorrhea in adolescents and adults. However, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing in many areas of the world, including the United States, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult.

The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea.


For more information:

CDC gonorrhea fact sheet:

605 Bannock St., Room 162 . Denver, CO 80204 . Tel: 303-602-3540

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