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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.

2009 Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) Profiles (CDC)

Gonorrhea - Fact Sheet (CDC)
How do people get gonorrhea? What are the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea? How does gonorrhea affect a pregnant woman and her baby?

Gonorrhea: The Facts - Brochure (CDC)
Basic information about gonorrhea in plain language.

What to Watch for:

  • Symptoms show up 2-21 days after having sex. Most women and some men have no symptoms.


  • Thick yellow or white discharge from the vagina.
  • Burning or pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement.
  • Abnormal periods or bleeding between periods.
  • Bleeding from the vagina between periods.
  • Cramps and pain in the lower abdomen (belly).


  • Thick yellow or white drip from the penis.
  • Burning or pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement.
  • Need to urinate (pee) more often..

How Do You Get This STD:

  • Spread during vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea.

What Happens If You Don't Get Treated:

  • You can give gonorrhea to your sexual partner(s).
  • Can lead to more serious infection. Reproductive organs can be damaged.
  • Both men and women may no longer be able to have children.
  • A mother with gonorrhea can give it to her baby during childbirth.
  • Can cause heart trouble, skin disease, arthritis and blindness.