Symptoms of Gonorrhea
Symptoms that may indicate a rectal infection include:
- Anal itching
- Occasional painful bowel movements with fresh blood in the feces.
A rectal infection may also cause no symptoms of gonorrhea.
Although gonorrheal infections in the throat may cause a sore throat, it usually does not cause any symptoms. Gonorrheal infections in the eyes may cause symptoms such as:
- Discharge from the eyes.
Complications Associated With Gonorrhea
If gonorrheal infections are left untreated, the bacteria can spread up into the reproductive tract or, in rare cases, can spread into the bloodstream and infect the joints, heart valves, or brain.
Gonorrhea Complications in Women
The most common result of untreated gonorrhea in women is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is a serious infection of the female reproductive tract. Gonococcal PID often appears immediately after the menstrual period and can cause scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes. If the tube is partially scarred, the fertilized egg may not be able to pass into the uterus, which means that the embryo may implant in the tube causing a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. This serious complication may result in a miscarriage and can cause the death of the mother.
(Click Gonorrhea and Pregnancy for more information about PID and tubal pregnancies.)
Gonorrhea Complications in Men
In men, gonorrhea causes epididymitis, which is a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility if left untreated. Also, gonorrhea can affect the prostate gland and cause scarring in the urine canal.