Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD, also known as venereal disease) that can be transmitted by sexual contact. It can infect the vagina, the penis (urethra), throat and anus.
Infection occurs by direct contact between an infected person’s and a healthy person’s mucous membranes during sexual intercourse, both vaginal and anal, or by oral sex. It is possible to be indirectly infected via the fingers when touching the genitals, or by sex toys. Gonorrhea can also infect the throat.
Most people who are infected with gonorrhea have a discharge of fluid from the penis or vagina and experience pain when they pee. If the disease is not treated it can lead to sterility (not being able to have children). The disease can also be passed on from a mother to a baby during birth, so that the baby’s eyes get infected. If the baby doesn’t get treated it may result in blindness.
Some people are infected without having any symptoms; in this case it can be passed on without the carrier knowing about it.