UT University Health Services


Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that may be transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It is usually diagnosable through a simple urine test. Young people ages 15-24 account for approximately 70% of all new cases of gonorrhea annually.

If you might have contracted gonorrhea while having oral or anal sex, your doctor will likely swab the affected area. In some cases, your doctor will need to swab your urethra or cervix.

Common Symptoms

Many biological males infected with gonorrhea will have symptoms, but biological females do not. Presentation of symptoms varies due to anatomical difference.

Penile gonorrhea infections often--though not always--cause symptoms, which may include:

  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Yellowish-white discharge
  • Occasionally, swelling of the testicles

Vaginal gonorrhea infections very often do not cause symptoms, although prolonged infections can lead to more serious infections affecting major reproductive organs. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Unusual yellow discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding outside of expected periods

Some of these symptoms may be mistaken for a urinary tract infection.

Rectal gonorrhea infections do not always cause symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Soreness or itchiness
  • Bleeding and/or discharge
  • Pain during bowel movements

Prevention and Treatment

If you are sexually active, your chance of contracting genital herpes can be significantly reduced by using condoms and dental dams correctly and consistently.

Like a urinary tract infection, gonorrhea can be completely cured by a round of antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is important that you take the full course of medication. Otherwise, your infection could return.

If you are sexually active, it is important that you get tested regularly for STIs including gonorrhea, even if you do not have any symptoms.

Partner Notification

If you test positive for gonorrhea, it is important that you notify previous sexual partners so that they can get tested, too. UHS staff can talk you through the partner notification process. UHS also offers resources online to help you talk to your partner about getting tested and seeking treatment.

You can get tested for gonorrhea and all other STIs at University Health Services. Call (512) 471-4955 or go online to make an appointment.

Other Sexually Transmitted Infections

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Sexually Transmitted Infections

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