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Disease: Gonorrhea Gonorrhea
Category: Sexual diseases
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Disease Definition:

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterium. The urethra, rectum and throat of both men and women could be infected with this bacterium. The cervix could also be infected in women. Usually, gonorrhea is contracted during sex. Pregnant women with gonorrhea could also pass it to their babies. This condition usually affects the eyes. By abstaining from sex or using a condom, a person can prevent him/herself from getting gonorrhea.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


Gonorrhea that affects the urethra in men could show these signs and symptoms:


  • Pain or swelling in one testicle
  • Painful urination
  • Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis


Gonorrhea that affects the urethra or cervix in women may show these signs and symptoms:


  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, such as after vaginal intercourse.


Gonorrhea that affects the rectum may show these signs and symptoms:


  • Straining to have a bowel movement
  • Anal itching
  • Spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue
  • Pus-like discharge from the rectum


Gonorrhea that affects the eye may show some of these signs and symptoms:


  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye pain
  • Pus-like discharge from the eye


Gonorrhea that affects the throat could show some of these signs and symptoms:


  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Sore throat


In case a person notices any troubling signs or symptoms including a burning sensation when they urinate or a pus-like discharge from their rectum, vagina or penis, they should make an appointment to see a doctor.


In case a person’s partner has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, that person should also see a doctor despite the fact that they may not experience any signs or symptoms that prompt them to seek medical care. A person can reinfect their partner with this disease after he/she has been healed in the case of not seeking treatment.


The Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium causes gonorrhea. As mentioned before, this disease is usually passed from one person to another during sexual contact, including vaginal, anal or oral intercourse.



These are some of the complications that gonorrhea could lead to when left untreated:


Infertility in men:

Epididymitis, which is inflammation of the rear portion of the testicles where the sperm ducts are located (epididymis), could result in men when gonorrhea is left untreated. Although epididymitis is treatable, however, it could lead to infertility when it's left untreated.


Infertility in women:

PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), which could cause scarring of the tubes, greater risk of pregnancy complications and infertility, could result in case untreated gonorrhea spreads into the uterus and fallopian tubes. Backache, abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, foul-smelling vaginal discharge and irregular menstrual periods could be caused by PID. This disease requires immediate treatment because it is a serious infection.


Infection that spreads to the joints and other areas of the body:

When the bacterium that causes gonorrhea spreads through the bloodstream and infects other parts of the body including the joints, it may result in skin sores, rash, fever, swelling, stiffness and joint pain.


An increased risk of HIV/AIDS:

If someone gonorrhea, it means that they have an increased risk of infection with HIV, which is the virus that leads to AIDS. People who have both HIV and gonorrhea pass them more easily to their partners.


Complications in babies:

Blindness, sores on the scalp, joint infections, in addition to other infections are developed in babies who contract gonorrhea from their mothers during birth.



Adults with gonorrhea are treated with an injection of antibiotics or a single tablet taken by mouth.



Even if someone’s partner has no signs or symptoms, he/she should also undergo testing and treatment for gonorrhea, and will receive the same treatment. A person could be reinfected with gonorrhea even after they’ve been treated in case their partner hasn't been treated.



Soon after birth, in order to prevent infection, babies that are born to mothers with gonorrhea receive a medication in their eye. A baby could be treated with antibiotics in case an eye infection develops.


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Consultants Corner

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy Pediatrician

Dr. Tahsin Martini

Dr. Tahsin Martini Degree status: M.D. in Ophthalmology

Dr. Talal Sabouni


Dr. Hani Najjar

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Samir Moussa M.D.

Samir Moussa M.D. ENT Specialist

Dr. Faisal Dibsi

Dr. Faisal Dibsi Specialist of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Dr . Dirar Abboud

Dr . Dirar Abboud Hepatologist – Gastroenterologist

Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed

Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed Consultant Ophthalmologist

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