Gonorrhea doesn’t always have symptoms, so many people don’t know they’ve got it. But if you do notice signs of gonorrhea, get tested right away. Here’s what to look for.

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Gonorrhea doesn’t always have symptoms.

Gonorrhea can be tricky, because you or your partner may not have any symptoms. Or the signs of gonorrhea may be so mild you don’t even notice them. Sometimes people confuse gonorrhea symptoms with other infections. Lots of people don’t even realize they have gonorrhea — that’s part of the reason why it’s such a common infection (and why it’s so important to get tested).

Gonorrhea can lead to serious health problems and even infertility if you don’t treat it. But it’s usually easy to cure it with medicine. This is why regular STD testing is so important, no matter how healthy you feel.

Symptoms of gonorrhea.

Most people with vaginas who get gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms. If they do, gonorrhea symptoms show up within about a week of being infected. These include:

  • Pain or burning feeling when you pee

  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina that may be yellowish or bloody

  • Bleeding between periods

People with penises are more likely to have symptoms if they get gonorrhea. The symptoms usually begin within a week after they get the infection. These include:

  • Yellow, white, or green discharge from your penis

  • Pain or burning feeling when you pee

  • Pain or swelling in your testicles

Gonorrhea can also infect your anus if you have anal sex, or you may spread the infection to your anus from another part of your body (like by wiping after you go to the bathroom). Anal gonorrhea often doesn’t have any symptoms. But signs of gonorrhea in your anus can include:

  • Itching in or around your anus

  • Discharge from your anus

  • Pain when you poop

Gonorrhea infections in the throat also rarely cause symptoms. If symptoms do show up, it’s usually just a sore throat.

If you or your sexual partner(s) have any of these symptoms, go to a nurse, doctor, or your local Planned Parenthood Health Center. It’s especially important to get checked out if you’re pregnant. The only way to know for sure if you have gonorrhea is to get tested.