Gonorrhea: Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea, also known as "the clap", is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). Gonorrhea is transmitted through all forms of sexual intercourse and may often be passed on at the same time as the STD of chlamydia. Alarmingly, according to the Center for Disease Control, it is estimated there are more than 700,000 people infected with gonorrhea annually in America. Though it is curable, if left untreated, it can cause severe complications.

Cdc Gonorrhea Incidence
Gonorrhea — Rates of Reported Cases by Age Group and Sex, United States, 2017


Gonorrhea is passed from one person to another during sexual activities, including:

  • Anal Sex
  • Oral Sex
  • Vaginal Sex

Gonorrhea can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby if the infant is born via vaginal delivery.

Get tested for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, if left untreated, can spread and cause other problems, and additional STDs. Order quick and discreet STD testing today.

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Mark Riegel, MD
Mark Riegel, MD

Quick Snapshot

Can it be cured?

Yes. Gonorrhea is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

Type of Infection

Bacterial. Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium.

How is it treated?

Antibiotics. A single Cefixime, Ceftriaxone, or Cephalosporin.

Recovery Time

Upto 1 week. One to two weeks can be needed for symptoms to fully disappear.

Can I have sex?

No. Sexual activity should be avoided until treatment is successful.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. Re-infection is possible from sexual activity with an infected person.

Do I Have Gonorrhea?

Find out whether or not you have Gonorrhea and what STD test is recommended using our anonymous symptom checker. Get you personalized results and recommendations!

Gonorrhea Symptom Checker