Prevention & support for sexual health


Gonorrhea (neisseria gonorrheae)



What is Gonorrhea ?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is sometimes referred to as “the clap.”

How do you get Gonorrhea ?

  • From sexual relations with penetration of the penis in the vagina or anus;
  • From oral sex;
  • When sex toys are shared;
  • An infected pregnant person can transmit the bacteria to her baby during delivery.

What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea ?

Often, there are no symptoms.

Here are some possible symptoms that may arise 2 to 10 days after an incidence of at-risk sexual behaviour:

Person with vagina Person with penis
  • new or unusual vaginal discharge
  • painful burning during urination
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • fever and chills
  • pain during intercourse
  • bleeding between periods or after intercourse
  • anal pain
  • anal discharge
  • sore throat (after oral sex)
  • yellow or green pus-like discharge from the penis
  • burning sensation during urination
  • painful or swollen testicles
  • anal pain
  • anal discharge
  • fever and chills
  • sore throat (after oral sex)


What is the treatment for Gonorrhea ?

Treatment of gonorrhea is done by taking antibiotics prescribed in a single dose or for a period of seven days, depending on the antibiotic. In the case of single-dose treatment, you should consider yourself contagious for a period of seven days after treatment. Thus, condom use is recommended during the duration of treatment. It is also recommended to refrain from sexual intercourse until the symptoms disappear. It is important that sexual partners are also treated even if they have no symptoms. Treatment is free

Additional information

People with Chlamydia are often also infected by gonorrhea. Testing and treatment should always be carried out for both infections.

Reporting of gonorrhea is compulsory in Quebec.* Therefore, doctors who diagnose Gonorrhea must inform the Public Health Department of their region.

A public health professional will offer support in identifying and informing sexual partners up to 6 weeks prior to the appearance of the first symptoms. If the person with gonorrhea is asymptomatic, sexual partners from even earlier must also be informed.

*Outside Quebec, similar public health laws apply.
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