Gonorrhea causes no long-term problems if it is treated early in the course of the infection before any complications develop. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to many complications.
Initial treatment. Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. Treatment is recommended for:
A person who has a positive gonorrhea test.
Anyone who has had sexual contact in the past 60 days with a person diagnosed with gonorrhea, whether or not they have symptoms or used condoms.
A newborn whose mother has gonorrhea at the time of delivery.
If you are prescribed more than one dose of an antibiotic, be sure to take your antibiotic exactly as directed. If you miss doses or don’t take the full course of medicine, the gonorrhea infection may not be cured. Do not have sexual contact with anyone:
While you are being treated.
Until both you and your partner(s) have been tested and treated. If you are treated for gonorrhea and your sex partner is not, you will probably become infected again.
Treatment if the condition does not get better. Symptoms that do not go away after treatment may be caused by another gonorrhea infection or treatment failure. Certain strains of the gonorrhea bacteria have become resistant to some antibiotics, including quinolones, penicillin, tetracycline, and sulfa drugs. When bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic, they no longer can be killed by that medicine.
What to think about. To prevent reinfection, don’t have sex until any partner that might be infected is tested and treated. Some people who have gonorrhea also have chlamydia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that drug treatment for gonorrhea also include antibiotics that are effective in treating chlamydia. For more information, see the topic Chlamydia.