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Symptoms of Gonorrhea

Recognizing the symptoms of gonorrhea is crucial as this sexually transmitted infection (STI) often presents with varied signs that may require medical attention and treatment.

  • 22 Nov 2023
  • 2 min read

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is sometimes called “the clap” or “drip”. Gonorrhea disease is highly contagious, with a 14.1% prevalence rate in India. It affects both males and females and can often spread infection in the urethra, rectum, cervix, and throat. A person can get gonorrhea disease from having anal, oral, or vaginal sex or sharing sex toys with an infected individual. A person having this infection, in many cases, doesn’t show any symptoms, which causes the disease to spread from one person to their partners unknowingly.

What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?

An infected person may not always experience any symptoms of gonorrhea, especially women and individuals assigned female at birth. So, in such cases, an asymptomatic carrier can transmit the disease.  The symptoms can affect many sites in the body, most commonly the genital tract.

Gonorrhea affecting the genital tract

Individuals assigned male at birth, including cisgender men, transgender women, and non-binary people with penises, are more likely to have symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of gonorrhea infection in men include:

  • Dysuria: pain or burning sensation during peeing
  • Unusual discharge from the penis. White, yellow, or green colour fluid.
  • Pain in testicles
  • Swollen testicle

The symptoms of gonorrhea infection in women include:

  • Unusual white or yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dysuria: pain or burning during peeing
  • Dyspareunia: painful intercourse
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea at other sites in the body

  • Rectum: Rectal gonorrhea can cause anal discharge, itching, pain, spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue, and painful bowel movements in men and women.
  • Eyes: Gonorrhea infection in the eyes causes eye pain, sensitivity to light and pus-like discharge from one or both eyes.
  • Throat: Gonorrhea infection in the throat causes a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Joints: Gonorrhea infection can affect one or more joints and can result in redness, swelling and pain.

Also read:


There are many ways to prevent infection with gonorrhea; by using a condom or dental dam during any sexual activity. It is always advisable to look for safer sex options. If a person has been exposed to this infection, then they shouldn’t avoid consulting a healthcare provider out of embarrassment because untreated gonorrhea can cause long-term health issues.


Website: Mayoclinic, “Gonorrhea”, (2023) Available at: April 2023)

Website: Cleveland Clinic, “Gonorrhea”, (2022), Available at: (Accessed February 2022)

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