Know your Risk: Gonnorrhea

Gonorrhea FAQ

  • What is gonorrhea?

    Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhea. It is also known as the "clap," "drip," or GC. In Long Beach, the population with the highest rates of gonorrhea are in the 25-29 age range, followed by 20-24.  Men account for two-thirds of all gonorrhea cases in Long Beach. It is the second most commonly reported STD in Long Beach. Of those infected with gonorrhea, at least 75% of women and 50% of men experience no symptoms.  Additionally, having gonorrhea can increase your chances of transmitting or acquiring HIV.

  • How can a person get gonorrhea?

    You can get gonorrhea by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has gonorrhea. It is passed through contact with semen, vaginal fluids or discharge. Most people with gonorrhea do not know they have it, however they can still infect others. Gonorrhea can infect the cervix, rectum, throat, urethra, or vagina. A pregnant person with gonorrhea can pass it to their newborn baby during childbirth.

  • What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

    Many people with gonorrhea experience no symptoms. If symptoms develop, they may appear 2-5 days after being infected.

    Symptoms may include:

    • white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis, vagina, or anus.
    • it may also hurt or burn to urinate.
    • infections in the throat may cause mild soreness or redness (usually rare).
    • pain in the abdomen, fever, unusual heavy periods or bleeding between periods, or pain during sex

    If gonorrhea is left untreated, it can spread in the reproductive organs. Untreated gonorrhea can cause scarring and inflammation of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, a condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain and can increase the risk of a life threatening ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to a painful infection of the testicles known as epididymitis, which can cause sterility. In rare cases, gonorrhea can spread to the blood stream and cause a general infection with rash and joint pain. If a pregnant person is infected with gonorrhea, their newborn baby may develop an eye infection. This can cause blindness.

  • What can a person do to prevent passing gonorrhea?

    Using latex condoms provides an excellent protection against gonorrhea. The internal condom and polyurethane (plastic) condoms are equally effective. An infected pregnant person should seek prenatal care early to prevent passing gonorrhea to their newborn.

  • How do I get tested for gonorrhea?

    To get tested for gonorrhea, a person should go to a doctor or health clinic or take an at-home test kit.

    • The cervix, in the vagina, is swabbed during a pelvic exam.
    • The inside of the urethra inside of the penis is swabbed.
    • If you engage in oral or anal sex you should get tested for gonorrhea in your throat and rectum.

    The Sexual Health Clinic offers comprehensive sexual health services Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Appointments are highly encouraged though walk-in services are available on a first come first served basis and subject to provider availability. 


    Free mobile HIV/STI Testing is provided throughout the community at various locations in Long Beach with our Mobile Testing Unit. For more information about scheduling call 562.570.4289.


    • The Long Beach Health Department is partnering up with LA County to provide FREE At-Home Test Kits to self-test for gonorrhea & chlamydia. The take home tests are available for those who fit eligibility criteria. Eligible criteria consist of: 
      • Between the ages 12-24
      • Resident that lives in LA County & Long Beach
      • Any Person with a vagina


    Location Date & Time Phone
    AHF-Long Beach Wellness Center
    3500 E Pacific Coast Hwy
    Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 11am-7pm 562.494.4983
    2690 Pacific Ave Ste. 300
    CARE Clinic
    1043 Elm Ave, Ste 300
    LGBTQ Center Long Beach
    2017 E 4th St.
    Monday-Wednesday & Friday
    10am - 6pm


  • What is treatment for gonorrhea?

    Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with certain antibiotics (given as an injection and oral medication). It takes one week for the medicine to completely cure gonorrhea. Make sure both you and your sex partner(s) are cured before having sex again. Since different antibiotics cure different diseases, see a doctor before taking any medications. You should not attempt to diagnose yourself or take any medicine that was not prescribed to you. Do not share medications.

  • Where can I learn more about gonorrhea?

    California Department of Public Health:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Gonorrhea FAQ
Know the facts: DGI

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