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Gonorrhea is the venereal disease caused by the bacteria, N. gonorrhoeae. Like all sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea (also spelled gonorrhoea) is important both for the effects it has on the infected individual, and for the effects it has on a population of people. In the specific case of infection with this bacteria, the harmful effects are not always present for an individual, but even when a infected person suffers no apparent permanent harm- unless treated and cleared of the bacteria, that individual is likely to harm others by perpetuating the infection in sexual contacts.

Signs and symptoms

Early infection usually presents differently in men and women. In men, the classic symptom is burning on urination, and the classic sign is a drip of discharge from the tip of the urethra. Although this discharge is often profuse and white with pus, it is not always so obvious. In some infected men, there is little or no discharge. Without antibiotic treatment, the infection of the urethra usually persists, however, most men become symptom free as their own immunity controls the level of the infection. Despite no longer having burning urination or discharge, or never having had them, an infection of the male urethra with Neisseria gonorrhoea is still a problem. First, persistent bacteria can make the man a carrier of the disease which he can then give to others during sexual intercourse. Second, flares of the infection in his own body are possible.


In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends ceftriaxone 250 mg plus either azithromycin or doxycycline; however, resistance to ceftriaxone is emerging.[1]


  1. Anonymous (2011 [last update]). Cephalosporin Susceptibility Among Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolates --- United States, 2000--2010. cdc.gov. Retrieved on July 11, 2011.