What Is It?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These bacteria can be passed from person to person during sexual activity (vaginal, oral and anal intercourse) leading to infections of the urethra (urine tube), cervix, vagina and anus. If untreated, these gonorrhea infections can spread to higher portions of the reproductive tract, causing prostatitis (prostate inflammation) and epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis) in men, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women.
Gonorrhea also can cause gonococcal proctitis (inflammation of the anus and rectum). In people who practice oral sex, it may infect the throat, causing gonococcal pharyngitis.