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Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually. Many women and some men who have gonorrhea do not have any signs or symptoms. If not treated, gonorrhea can cause swollen and painful joints and permanent damage to your reproductive organs. It can also make a man or woman unable to have children. If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she can infect her baby during childbirth.

Gonorrhea is also called “the clap” or “the drip.”


In men:

  • Pain or burning when urinating

  • Watery, milky, or yellow discharge (drip) from the penis or anus

In women:

  • Yellow or white discharge (fluid) from the vagina or anus

  • Bleeding between periods


Gonorrhea can be cured quickly with antibiotics. If you are being treated, your partner should also be checked by a healthcare provider. Don’t have sex while you are being treated.


As with all STDs, knowing your partner’s sexual history is a big step toward preventing gonorrhea. Know the signs and symptoms of the infection. And use latex condoms to reduce your risk.


American Social Health Association STD Hotline  919-361-8488

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  800-232-4636


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