Learn what you need to know about treating these common infections.
  • Vaginal infection
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infections
  • Staph infections
 

 
 

 

Gonorrhea Overview

Gonorrhea (commonly misspelled as gonorhea or gonorrhoeae), also known as "the clap," is a highly contagious, yet curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea. The bacteria that causes gonorrhea grows in warm, moist areas of the body, including the urethra (the tubes that carry urine out of the body), the throat, the anus and rectum, as well as the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix in women. It is even possible for the bacteria to grow in the eyes. Many men infected with gonorrhea bacteria will exhibit symptoms, while most women do not experience any symptoms at all.

Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea which is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. As one of the most common STDs in the United States, every state requires that health care providers report all diagnosed cases of gonorrhea to their State Board of Health to ensure the patient gets proper follow up care and to test anyone who had sexual contact with the patient to prevent further spread of the disease.

It is important to be diagnosed and treated for gonorrhea because it can cause serious complications, especially in women, who can develop pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.

More than 700,000 persons in the United States get gonorrhea every year.

Gonorrhea is most common in people younger than the age of 30. For women, the highest rates of infection occur between the ages of 15 to 19 years old, while in men, the highest rates of infection occur between the ages 20 to 24 years old. Gonorrhea occurs most commonly to people who live in large cities, inner-city areas, and in populations with lower overall levels of education and people with lower socioeconomic status.

Risk factors for gonorrhea include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having a partner with a past history of STDs
  • Having unprotected oral or genital sex (without a condom)

Vaginal delivery of a newborn by an infected mother may also transmit gonorrhea.

Casual contact, such as kissing or shaking hands, does not spread gonorrhea.

Because many women do not experience symptoms, they are unaware that they have gonorrhea and can spread it to others. Therefore, it is important to always use a latex condom during sex.


Common misspellings of gonorrhea include, gonorrhea, gonorhea, gonarrea, gnorrhea, gonorreah, gonerreha, gonareha, gonnerhea, gonarreea, gonorrhoeae, gonarhea, gonarrhea, gonerhea, gonerrhea, gonnarehea, gonnerhea, gonorhea, gonorreha, or gonorrehea.