Is Gonorrhea A Threat To Pregnancy?

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What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease infecting both men and women. Mainly spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex with a partner who has gonorrhea and if untreated, the bacteria spreads from the site of infection within days or weeks. However if treated at the earlier stage, gonorrhea can be cured quickly.

Symptoms of gonorrhea during pregnancy

Gonorrhea is quite hard to diagnose as it does not possess any obvious signs right away. Anyway, first sign can be if a partner, past or current, begin to develop symptoms.


Some men may not show any symptoms, but at the same time some other men develop symptoms that include:

  • Burning while urinating
  • Discharge from penis
  • Swollen and tender testicles

Symptoms of gonorrhea in women may include:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Painful urination
  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • Anal itching
  • Soreness of the anus (for both men and women)
  • Painful bowel movements (for both men and women)
  • Bleeding from the anus (for both men and women)

Generally, if treated, gonorrhea can be completely eliminated.  However, long term effects may occur with delayed treatment.

  • Long term risks and effects may include ectopic pregnancies, infertility, chronic pelvic pain and Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which causes scar tissue that can block fallopian tubes.

Preventing Gonorrhea During Pregnancy

In order to prevent complications during pregnancy, it is recommended to have a checkup for gonorrhea the first prenatal visit. It is highly recommended to take precautions if one suspect to get effected by the disease, so that proper treatment can be planned. This may decrease pregnancy complications as it include the risk of passing it on to the baby.


If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to an increased risk in miscarriage and premature birth. In addition to that, infection may get passed from mother to newborn baby during vaginal delivery, which may lead to a severe eye infection.

How to treat gonorrhea during pregnancy?

If detected, gonorrhea can be very easily treated in the infant. Ceftriaxone is used to treat uncomplicated gonorrhea, which is also safe for both pregnant mothers and infants. Therefore it is important to seek treatment immediately if once affected by gonorrhea in order to prevent the risk of passing gonorrhea to the child at birth and to avoid further complications..