What is Gonorrhea of the Throat?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2019
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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that may affect the genitals, rectum, cervix, and oral areas, including the throat. It is caused by bacteria that may infect both men and women. Though this disease causes a variety of symptoms, pharyngeal gonorrhea specifically may cause a sore throat. Also called gonorrhea of the throat, pharyngeal gonorrhea is one of the least noticeable types of gonorrhea.

Like all cases of this disease, pharyngeal gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is thought that gonorrhea of the throat is difficult to spread or transmit. Oral gonorrhea, on the other hand, can also be quite painful and is known to spread further infections throughout the body. Tonsillitis is another known effect.

Wherever gonorrhea is first contracted on the body, it should not be left untreated. Like other infectious diseases, gonorrhea can spread through the body and can be transmitted to other people. Gonorrhea, or “the clap,” can also be quite painful.


Gonorrhea that affects the throat can be detected after a series of questions and tests by a medical professional. A family practice doctor, gynecologist, or sexual health professional will be able to diagnose a case. Once a person suspects he may be infected with gonorrhea of the throat, he should immediately see a medical professional. A sore throat and swollen lymph nodes are typically the only symptoms, and these will likely occur after performing oral sex. Gonorrhea that affects the genitals and rectum will typically be accompanied by itching, pus, and painful urination.

A series of questions regarding an individual’s sexual health and history will be asked. If the healthcare provider believes a pharyngeal gonorrhea infection may be likely, she will likely take a swab sample from the throat, which will then be tested under a microscope for the gonococcal culture. If the bacteria is not found, it is possible the patient just has strep throat.

A gonorrhea infection is generally sexually transmitted, though mothers may also transmit the bacteria to their babies during childbirth. Baby gonorrhea typically affects the eyes most drastically. When this happens, the baby can be left with ophthalmia neonatoru, which is also known as neonatal conjunctivitis. During such cases, the infected baby’s eyelids are swollen shut with the bacterial infection. If the proper erythromycin eye drops are not administered to the newborn soon after birth, the baby could potentially go blind.


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Post 3

Throat gonorrhea is rare but dangerous. If the bacteria reaches the bloodstream from the throat before it is treated, it can cause serious problems.

I guess the good part (and also bad) is that gonorrhea is often seen in more than one body part and gonorrhea is also usually seen with chlamydia. So STD symptoms are bound to show up and lead to an early diagnosis.

Post 2

@burcidi-- It's possible but it's difficult for it to happen. The chances of getting pharyngeal gonorrhea from a man through oral sex is higher than getting it from a woman with oral sex. So if a couple continues to have oral sex when the male has gonorrhea, it's more likely for the woman to be infected with gonorrhea of the throat.

What increases this likeliness is that often, people suffer from pharyngeal gonorrhea but don't have any symptoms. Or if they have symptoms, it may be confused with other types of infections since gonorrhea of the throat symptoms can't be diagnosed without a culture test.

Post 1

Can a person re-infect themselves with throat gonorrhea by passing it on to a partner and then re-acquiring it through kissing or oral sex?

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