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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a type of bacteria. Infection usually develops in the cervix, uterus or fallopian tubes. The bacteria can also grow in a man or woman’s urethra, mouth, throat, eyes and anus.

Gonorrhea: what you should know

  • Yes, you can get gonorrhea from oral sex. You can also get it from vaginal and anal sex, as well as genital-to-genital contact. Latex condoms may help prevent the spread of gonorrhea.
  • Gonorrhea symptoms are often mistaken for other types of infections in women, so if you suspect gonorrhea, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor.
  • If untreated, gonorrhea can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and epididymitis (a painful testicle condition in men). The infection can spread to the blood and joints and become life-threatening.
  • If you are pregnant and think you have gonorrhea, tell your doctor right away. Getting treatment promptly could make a difference in your baby’s well being.
  • Your primary care doctor can easily test for gonorrhea. He or she will perform a urine test or swab samples from your throat, rectum, cervix or urethra.

How can I get help for gonorrhea?

Call your primary care doctor or OB-GYN regarding the following:

Men and women­

Sexual contact with someone who has gonorrhea

Anal discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding or painful bowel movements

Burning sensation when urinating

Unexplained itchy throat


Pregnancy and gonorrhea

Increased vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding between periods


White, yellow or green discharge from the penis

Painful or swollen testicles

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Care for gonorrhea at Rush

Doctors at Rush realize that an STD diagnosis can be unsettling. That’s why they focus on not just treating the gonorrhea — usually with medicines — but supporting you emotionally. If your primary care doctor recommends further evaluation and treatment, Rush has many specialists to help address health concerns arising from a gonorrhea diagnosis.

Why choose Rush for gonorrhea care

  • Primary care doctors at Rush, including OB-GYNs, can successfully treat gonorrhea. These doctors are closely connected to specialists at Rush who can help address conditions that arise from your gonorrhea diagnosis.
  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Rush have expertise in caring for women facing high-risk pregnancies, including those with gonorrhea, and delivering gonorrhea-exposed babies. They deliver babies at the new and spacious Rush Family Birth Center, where all services related to having babies are located on one floor.
  • Rush has a program for abdominal and pelvic health issues, including pelvic inflammatory disease, that can address the full spectrum of issues surrounding this condition.
  • Are you having trouble getting pregnant? Fertiilty specialists at Rush help men and women combat infertility caused by gonorrhea and other STDs with such treatments as in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

Departments and programs that treat this condition