Gonorrhea

Synonyms: Clap, Drip

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Obstetrics/gynecology, Pediatrics


Clinical Definition

Gonorrhea, a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), is a bacterial infection that affects both men and women. Left untreated, in women it can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes, triggering pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and an increased risk of tubal pregnancies; in men, it can contribute to epididymitis and sometimes scarring and infertility. If gonorrhea spreads to other areas of the body, it can lead to swollen, painful joints, cardiac valve damage and neurological damage. Treatment is with antibiotics.


In Our Own Words

Gonorrhea, known also as the clap or drip, is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI).  It can be transmitted from an infected person to a healthy one during vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection often affects the women's cervix, the opening from the vagina to the womb. In men, the infection usually starts in the urine-carrying tube, the urethra.

 

Symptoms in men may include a burning sensation when urinating or a discharge form the penis, or no symptoms at all. Most women do not notice any symptoms. Untreated, gonorrhea can increase the risk of HIV transmission. In women, gonorrhea can also lead to serious complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, in turn possibly leading to chronic pelvic pain and infertility. In men, the infection can also lead to infertility, but less commonly than in women. Infection can also cause joint problems, brain damage and heart valve problems. Antibiotics are the treatment, and infected individuals must alert their partners.

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Unusual penal discharge
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
Share this article
sources
  • The Cleveland Clinic. "Gonorrhea." Diseases & Conditions. Jan. 2010. http://my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed September 2013.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Gonorrhea--CDC Fact Sheet." Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Feb. 2013. http://www.cdc.gov. Accessed September 2013.
Keep Reading
  • Gonorrhea

    Known colloquially as “the clap”, gonorrhea is one of many, widespread...more

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms of illness can be alarming and can range in severity. If you think...more

  • Pelvic Inflammatory

    Pelvic inflammatory disease can be devastating and have long term damaging...more

  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is spread through sexual contact with...more


NEED ANSWERS?
Investigate your bodys signs and signals.
Try Symptom Checker