Northwest michigan community health agency

Reproductive Health Program
Gonorrhea Infection and Treatment Information

What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection which is spread from person to person by close sexual contact; oral, anal, and vaginal. It
can also be spread by an infected mother to her baby during delivery.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea
It is possible to have gonorrhea and not have symptoms. If symptoms occur, it is usually 2-21 days after exposure.
Symptoms in Women
• Yellow or white discharge from the vagina • Burning or pain with urination • Bleeding between periods • Heavier and more painful periods • Cramps or pain in lower abdomen/pelvic area • Fever or chills
Symptoms in Men
• Yellow or white drip/discharge from penis, or stained underwear • Burning or pain with urination
Symptoms in Men and Women
• A sore or red throat if you have gonorrhea in the throat from oral sex • Rectal pain and blood or pus in bowel movements if you have gonorrhea in your rectum from anal sex
Gonorrhea is Serious
Many people don’t know they have gonorrhea. If not treated, it can spread to the pelvic and sex organs. This can cause a permanent
condition of infertility, the inability to become pregnant.
Women can have gonorrhea in the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and urethra. This is call PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
PID may require hospitalization and I.V. antibiotics for treatment.
Men can have gonorrhea in the urethra and in the ducts that carry sperm.
If not treated, gonorrhea may also cause pain and swelling in the knees or other joints, skin problems, and heart problems. A baby
born to a mother with gonorrhea may have eye infection problems and pneumonia.
How to prevent another sexually transmitted infection
It is necessary to know your and your partner’s HIV status. You can get free HIV testing at this health department.
Not having sex is the only 100% way to prevent another gonorrhea infection. However, if you are sexually active, you can take certain
steps to help reduce your chances:
• Make sure your partner(s) are promptly treated • Use lubricated latex condoms every time • Have only one sex partner who only has you for a sex partner • Get regular check-ups • Do not use drugs or alcohol when you might have sex. When you’re high, you might forget to protect yourself • Know your, and your partners’ HIV status. You can have a free HIV test at this health department. • Do not have sexual contact if you or your partner have a sexually transmitted infection • Limit your number of sexual partners
Treatment is required for both the infected person and partner(s). It is important that your partner(s) is informed of this infection and
that they are treated also, ideally at the same time. If you are unable or unwilling to notify your partner of this infection we can
provide anonymous partner notification.
At the reproductive health clinic non-complicated gonorrhea is treated with an antibiotic taken by mouth in a single dose or by
injection. You will also be treated, at the same time, with a medication used to treat chlamydia. If there is reason to suspect that you
Federal Title X funds were used to purchase this document. have a complicated case of gonorrhea, you will be referred to your family doctor, or a walk in clinic for further evaluation and treatment. It is necessary to abstain from any sexual contact for one week after treatment. If your partner(s) is not treated at the same time do not have any sexual contact for one week after they complete their treatment. Otherwise you will become re-infected. The medications used at this clinic to treat gonorrhea are either Vantin (cefpodoxime) or rocephin/ceftriaxone (injection). The medication used to treat chlamydia is either zithromax/azithromycin or doxycycline (both oral medications). A test of reinfection is recommended. This should not be done until at least 12 weeks after the completion of treatment. An HIV test is also recommended. This can be done through this agency. An appointment can be scheduled by calling 1-80O-432-4l21. Federal Title X funds were used to purchase this document.


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