Can you get gonorrhea treatment online?

Reviewed by Theresa H. Care Delivery Manager & Family Nurse Practitioner

Time saver 3 min read

Gonorrhea is a very common and treatable sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is especially prevalent among teens and adults ages 15 to 24. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the second most commonly reported bacterial STI in the United States.

While it may feel awkward or embarrassing to talk about a STI like gonorrhea—it’s important to understand how it’s spread, the symptoms and how to get tested and treated. We’re here to help you get the answers and information you need to take care of your sexual health.

What is gonorrhea and how is it spread?

Gonorrhea is a treatable STI caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacteria affects the mucous membranes of the reproductive tract—the fallopian tubes, cervix and uterus for people with vaginas and the urethra for all sexes. Less commonly, it can affect the mouth, throat, anus and eyes.

The STI is spread through genital, oral or anal sex with someone who is infected however, contrary to popular belief, ejaculation doesn’t need to occur for transmission to happen. It’s important to note that you can’t get gonorrhea from someone by kissing or using a public restroom.

What are the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea?

Symptoms of gonorrhea typically present 2 to 14 days after exposure, but often infected individuals are entirely asymptomatic—which is why it’s so important to stay consistent with your STI screenings. For those who do experience symptoms, they can look different between men and women.

Symptoms of gonorrhea in women and people with vaginas

Symptoms of gonorrhea in those with vaginas

  • Burning or painful urination
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Symptoms of gonorrhea in men and people with penises

Similarly, gonorrhea symptoms in men can be confused with other common ailments that men may experience so it's good to stay up-to-date with your STI screenings if you’re sexually active.

Symptoms of gonorrhea in those with penises

  • Burning feeling while urinating
  • Green, yellow or white discharge from penis
  • Swelling or pain in testicles

In women and men, when gonorrhea affects the rectum, it can result in discharge, itching, bleeding and painful bowel movements. If gonorrhea affects the throat, it can cause a sore throat or no symptoms at all.

Remember that many people with gonorrhea won’t experience any symptoms, so it’s important not to wait for symptoms to show up to get a STI screening. Women should be tested annually if they are under the age of 25 and sexually active, older than age 25 and have new or multiple partners or have a partner who tested positive for a STI. Gay and bisexual men should also be tested annually.

How is gonorrhea diagnosed?

The only way to know for sure if you have gonorrhea is to get tested. In a clinic setting, a urine sample or swab of the affected area can be collected and sent to a lab for testing. Additionally, women who are experiencing symptoms or who simply want to get tested as a preventative measure, can skip the trip into the clinic and get an at-home testing kit.

What if my partner or I test positive for gonorrhea?

When you or your partner receive a positive test for gonorrhea, it can bring up a lot of emotions. The important thing to know is that gonorrhea is highly treatable and you can take action to care for yourself and your long-term sexual health. If you test positive, get treatment as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic.

If you are exposed to gonorrhea, you can also get treatment without a test. Virtuwell offers this service for men and women who have a partner who tests positive. When you get your prescription, don’t share it with anyone and make sure to take the whole course of antibiotics prescribed, even if your symptoms start to go away before you finish the medication.

You will also want to inform anyone you had sexual contact with within the last 60 days. The sooner you tell your sexual partners, the sooner they can get treatment too.

Can you get treatment for gonorrhea online?

It depends. Standard treatment for a positive gonorrhea test involves an in-person clinic visit. However, both men and women who are exposed to gonorrhea can obtain treatment online at Virtuwell. This means that if a partner tests positive for gonorrhea, you don’t need to wait for a positive test result to obtain treatment.

Protect yourself and your sexual partners with easy and discreet online STI testing and treatment at Virtuwell.

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