Gonorrhea guide

Gonorrhea treatment

Is there a cure or treatment for gonorrhea?

Yes. Once you've been tested and diagnosed with gonorrhea, it can be effectively and easily cured with antibiotics – most commonly, with a single, oral dose of cefixime.

Gonorrhea can recur

Once you've been treated, the gonorrhea infection should clear within a week, but you're not immune...you can be re-infected. That's why sexual partners should be treated at the same time so that an untreated partner still carrying the bacteria doesn't re-infect the treated partner...and you'll want to avoid sexual contact altogether until your "test of cure" is negative, or until one week after both you and your partner have completed treatment.

Note: A "test of cure" three weeks after antibiotic therapy is a test that shows whether the treatment was successful...if so, the test result is negative, which confirms that the infection has been cured.

Be sure to continue to practice safer sex and use latex condoms to minimize the risk of re-infection.

While you're at it, get treated for chlamydia

People infected with gonorrhea are often co-infected with chlamydia, so it's a good idea to get treated for both infections at the same time.

Pregnancy and antibiotics

In general, gonorrhea can be cured during pregnancy with oral antibiotics. Consult with your regular doctor about the risks involved, and to identify a treatment that's best for you and your baby.

Last reviewed by Lisa Oldson, MD, January 2011.

Lisa Oldson, MD

STD expert

"The first thing I tell a patient about STDs is that if you're worried about one STD, you should probably worry about all STDs. In other words, if you had unprotected sex and you're worried about a possible HIV exposure, it's important to understand that hepatitis can be spread in the same fashion...ditto for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis."

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