Untreated gonorrhea can lead to significant complications, such as:
Jan. 02, 2014
- Infertility in women. Untreated gonorrhea can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may result in scarring of the tubes, greater risk of pregnancy complications and infertility. PID is a serious infection that requires immediate treatment.
- Infertility in men. Men with untreated gonorrhea can experience epididymitis — inflammation of a small, coiled tube in the rear portion of the testicles where the sperm ducts are located (epididymis). Epididymitis is treatable, but if left untreated, it may lead to infertility.
- Infection that spreads to the joints and other areas of your body. The bacterium that causes gonorrhea can spread through the bloodstream and infect other parts of your body, including your joints. Fever, rash, skin sores, joint pain, swelling and stiffness are possible results.
- Increased risk of HIV/AIDS. Having gonorrhea makes you more susceptible to infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that leads to AIDS. People who have both gonorrhea and HIV are able to pass both diseases more readily to their partners.
- Complications in babies. Babies who contract gonorrhea from their mothers during birth can develop blindness, sores on the scalp and infections.
- Gonorrhea. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/gonorrhea/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- Rotblatt H, et al. There's no place like home: First-year use of the "I Know" home testing program for chlamydia and gonorrhea. American Journal of Public Health. 2013;103:1376.
- CDC fact sheet: Gonorrhea. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/STDFact-gonorrhea-detailed.htm. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- Workowski K. Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013;158:ITC2-1-16.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5912a1.htm. Accessed Aug. 25, 2013.
- Stewart CMW, et al. Assessment of self-taken swabs versus clinician taken swab cultures for diagnosing gonorrhea in women: Single center, diagnostic accuracy study. British Journal of Medicine. 2012;345:e8107.
- Two new promising treatment regimens for gonorrhea. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2013/Gonorrhea-Treatment-Trial-PressRelease.html. Accessed Aug. 24, 2013.
- CDC no longer recommends oral drug for gonorrhea treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2012/GCTx-Guidelines-PressRelease.html. Accessed Aug. 24, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.