Medically reviewed on January 4, 2023 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat. Common gonorrhea symptoms include fever, pelvic pain, and abnormal vaginal or urethral discharge .
Over 1.6 million new gonorrhea infections are reported each year . Fortunately, gonorrhea is treatable through virtual and in-person visits with a healthcare provider and the right oral antibiotic regimen.
At the most basic level, gonorrhea is an infection caused by bacterium that easily transfers during intimate sexual contact with an infected person, and it can affect people across the gender and sexuality spectrum .
You can contract gonorrhea through :
Once infected, the gonorrhea bacterium can be found in the throat, rectum, urethra, and cervix .
Typical gonorrhea symptoms can include :
While less common, babies can also contract gonorrhea during birth if their mother is infected. With infected babies, gonorrhea most commonly affects the eyes .
If you or your sexual partner show any of these symptoms, the CDC recommends you stop having sex and see a health care provider for evaluation .
Note: Gonorrhea can also be asymptomatic, meaning those infected will not develop symptoms or have mild symptoms that may be misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider. Oftentimes, this includes cisgender women . As such, regular STD testing is recommended to protect yourself and your sexual partners.
If you suspect you may have gonorrhea, the road to recovery starts with getting tested. Thanks to advancements in healthcare practices, you can now use an at-home lab test like the Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test by Everlywell.
The Everlywell at-home collection kit provides you with the materials to collect your urine sample at home. Once you send your sample in, Everlywell works with a network of CLIA-certified laboratories to run your tests. An independent board physician then reviews and certifies the results.
Online STD treatment options may also helpful if you are experiencing symptoms and prefer not to see a provider in person.
If you’re experiencing burning or painful urination, abnormal vaginal or urethral discharge, or pelvic pain, you can make a virtual appointment through a secure, HIPAA-compliant system, often provided through your insurance by your healthcare provider.
For gonorrhea treatment online, telehealth, or telemedicine, appointments are typically conducted over a live video call. However, some healthcare providers will also facilitate appointments over the phone or through virtual messaging on a patient portal .
For easy and discreet telemedicine consultations, online STD treatment from Everlywell provides scheduled video calls where licensed healthcare providers can provide consultations for gonorrhea testing and prescriptions. Everlywell accepts major insurance plans as well as cash payments.
The Department of Health and Human Services also provides a national directory of health centers that may offer online consultations.
If you’ve received abnormal results and consulted with a healthcare provider, you’ll likely receive an oral antibiotic prescription to rid gonorrhea from your system. Experts stress the importance of taking all of the antibiotics prescribed to you, even if your symptoms seem to have gone away .
If you don’t take the full dose of antibiotics, the gonorrhea may not be eradicated completely. Additionally, the bacterium that causes gonorrhea may become more resistant to antibiotics over time if they’re exposed to a partial dose of antibiotics.
Health experts also recommend abstaining from sex until you’re fully healed to protect yourself and your sexual partner .
If left untreated, the infection can stay in your body, even if you’re asymptomatic. That’s because untreated gonorrhea can:
Treating gonorrhea online or in person promptly can alleviate uncomfortable STI symptoms in the short term—and keep you healthy in the long term.
It’s possible to contract gonorrhea multiple times over the course of your life, in the same way that it’s possible to catch a bacterial infection like strep throat more than once.
To reduce your risk of any future gonorrhea infection, experts recommend :
Not every prevention method will make sense for every person. For example, a couple trying to have a baby won’t want to use a condom when having sex. But taking precautions to reduce your risk when possible can help protect your sexual health in the long term.
Getting gonorrhea treatment online can be straightforward with Everlywell's online STD treatment option. If you think you may have been exposed to an STI or have questions about your sexual health, you can make a same-day video appointment with a clinician who can start you on your path to a diagnosis and treatment.