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Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is spread through sexual contact. It's found most often in the genital area. But it can also infect other areas of your body, such as the rectum and the throat. It can spread from one partner to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Some people who have gonorrhea get symptoms within a few days after infection. But some people have no symptoms. Even if you don't have symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.
Treatment is important. If gonorrhea isn't treated, it can spread to other parts of your body. It can lead to other problems such as a serious infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries (pelvic inflammatory disease). This can make it hard or impossible to get pregnant in the future. And if you're not treated, you will infect everyone you have sex with.
It's easy to get gonorrhea again. Condoms can help prevent infections. Not having sex is the best way to prevent any sexually transmitted infection.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Here are some ways to help prevent STIs:
Vaccines are available for some STIs, such as HPV. Ask your doctor for more information.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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