What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a common bacterial infection that’s easily cured with antibiotic medicine. It’s sexually transmitted, and most people with gonorrhea don’t have symptoms.
Want to get tested for gonorrhea? Find a Health Center →
One of the most common STDs
Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted infection, especially for teens and people in their 20s. Gonorrhea is sometimes called “the clap” or “the drip.”
Gonorrhea is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Gonorrhea can infect your penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, throat, and eyes (but that’s rare). Most people with gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they’re infected.
Gonorrhea is usually easily cured with antibiotics. But if you don’t treat gonorrhea early enough, it can lead to more serious health problems in the future. That’s why STD testing is so important — the sooner you know you have gonorrhea, the faster you can get rid of it.
You can help prevent gonorrhea by using condoms every time you have sex.
How do you get gonorrhea?
People usually get gonorrhea from having unprotected sex with someone who has the infection. Gonorrhea is spread when semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids get on or inside your genitals, anus, or mouth. Gonorrhea can be passed even if the penis doesn’t go all the way in the vagina or anus.
The main ways people get gonorrhea are from having vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex. You can also get gonorrhea by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Gonorrhea can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.
Gonorrhea isn’t spread through casual contact, so you CAN’T get it from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.
Many people with gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others. So using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex is the best way to help prevent gonorrhea — even if you and your partner seem totally healthy.