Originally published:.9.DEC.2020
Last updated: 8.DEC.2023

Sometimes referred to as ‘the clap’, gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the second most commonly reported bacterial STI in the United States, and anyone sexually active is at risk of contracting it.

Learn below what you need to know about oral gonorrhea, including the common causes, and symptoms, plus how you can test for gonorrhea.

See also: Can an STI go Undetected?

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What Causes Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a sexually transmitted pathogen. It is typically transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with a person who has the infection. Factors such as having multiple sexual partners or not using protection properly can increase your risk of contracting gonorrhea. The infection can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn during childbirth.

What Causes Oral Gonorrhea?

Oral gonorrhea is typically contracted through performing oral sex on someone who has the infection. One of the most reliable ways to reduce your risk of contracting gonorrhea of the throat is by using a dental dam or condom each time you have oral sex.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Gonorrhea?

It’s common for gonorrhea to show little to no symptoms. However, if symptoms do appear, they usually differ depending on the part of the body that has become infected.

Some of the most common symptoms and signs associated with oral gonorrhea can include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Redness in the throat
  • Fever

As it’s common for no symptoms or signs to show, remember to regularly check in on your sexual health and communicate openly with your sexual partner(s).

What Areas Can Gonorrhea Affect?

Gonorrhea is more often than not associated with infection of the genital area. However, it can also infect other areas of the body. Common sites include

  • Genital tract
  • Rectum
  • Throat

How do I Check For Gonorrhea?

If you notice any signs or symptoms of oral gonorrhea, it’s important to find out more - this can be done by taking a trip to your doctor's office for a sexual health checkup. You can also check in with LetsGetChecked’s range of Sexual Health testing options. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

You should also consider getting tested if:

  • You become sexually active
  • You have had unprotected sex
  • You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
  • You are entering into a new sexual relationship
  • You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected (STIs can remain dormant for years and/ or take up to three weeks to become detectable.)

See also: How do you Check for STDs From Home?

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonococcal Infections in Adolescents and Adults. Online: CDC.gov, 2015
  2. Mayo Clinic. Gonorrhea. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019