Gonorrhea (Female, Treated)

Uterus illustration.

You have an infection called gonorrhea. This infection is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is highly contagious. It is passed by sexual contact with an infected partner. Gonorrhea can infect the internal sex organs (cervix, uterus, or fallopian tubes). Less often, it can infect the mouth, throat, and anus. In rare cases, it can infect the joints, eyes, and other parts of the body.

Women with infections in the cervix may have no symptoms. Or they may have only mild symptoms early in the illness. So, it is possible to pass on this infection without knowing you have it.

When symptoms do occur in a woman, they often start 2 to 10 days after exposure. There may be a thick vaginal discharge and pain or burning when urinating. If the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes, it is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This causes lower abdominal pain and fever. If not treated, gonorrhea can cause infertility (being unable to have children) by scarring the fallopian tubes. PID also raises the risk of having a pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) in the future.

Gonorrhea can be treated and cured. Treatment is with antibiotic medicine.

Home care

  • Any sexual partner you have had within the last 2 months needs to be treated, even if there are no symptoms. Your partner should contact his or her healthcare provider or go to an urgent care clinic or the public health department to be examined and treated.

  • Don't engage in sexual activity until both you and your partner have finished all antibiotic medicine and you have been told by your healthcare provider that you are no longer contagious.

  • It is important to take all medicine as directed until it is gone. If not, the illness may come back.

  • Learn about “safer sex” practices and use these in the future. The safest sex is with a partner who has tested negative and only has sex with you. Latex barriers such as condoms offer protection from spreading some STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. But they are not a guarantee.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

If tests were done, call as directed for results. A follow-up test should be done 4 to 6 weeks after treatment, to be sure the infection has cleared. Follow up with your healthcare provider or the public health department for complete STI screening, including HIV testing.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • No improvement after 3 days of treatment

  • New or increasing lower abdominal pain or back pain

  • Unexpected vaginal bleeding

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Inability to urinate due to pain

  • Rash or joint pain

  • Painful sores on the outer vaginal area

  • Enlarged, painful lymph nodes (lumps) in the groin

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as advised

Call 911

Call 911 or get immediate medical care if any of these occur:

  • Weakness

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting

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