More often than not, gonorrhea in the mouth and throat has no symptoms. If there are symptoms, it may simply feel like a sore throat or there may be some discomfort when swallowing food. In appearance, there may be some redness in the throat or occasionally some white spots or whitish/yellow discharge. It may resemble a strep throat.
If symptoms occur, they may not appear for a few days and typically are noticed during the three weeks following exposure.
If one of your sexual partners has or recently has had gonorrhea in their genital area, the gonorrhea bacteria may have been present in their semen, vaginal fluids or the mucus membranes near their anus and rectum. If you have had oral sex or have sucked any of these areas, it's possible that you could have contracted gonorrhea in your mouth or throat. It's important to remember that not noticing any symptoms does not mean that you don't have the infection -- many people don't have any symptoms.
So if you know that a partner has the infection and you have had oral sex, make sure that the tests you have include taking a swab from your throat. A urine test or vaginal swab won't be enough -- it can only identify infections in the genital area.
People with oral gonorrhea usually do not transmit the disease to others.
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In addition, our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:
- Throat gonorrhea
I tested positive for gonorrhea in the throat last week. I have had treatment and been told not to have sex for a week. However I kissed a guy last night and I am worried I have given him gonorrhea.
- help! So many questions on gonorrhea
Haven't had sex in two years but I met a guy in NYC. We had oral sex but never manage to complete penetration. I've now been told I have gonorrhea in the throat and my head is spinning.