Oral Gonorrhea Symptoms (cont.)

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Of note,  N. gonorrhoeae is not a lonely pathogen. The bacteria frequently are associated with two other organisms, Treponema pallidum (that causes syphilis) and chlamydia trachomatis (that causes chlamydia infections). Most doctors treat the patient with antibiotics that will kill N. gonorrhoeae, but also will kill these other two STD organisms (syphilis and chlamydia) at the same time. Consequently, it is possible (but infrequent) to get infected with all three from one sexual encounter; more often only two are transferred, but doctors rarely know which two, so they treat for all three STD infections.

For uninfected partners, oral sex is relatively safe (except for the occasional gastrointestinal pathogen that may contaminate the genital or anal/rectal areas). Many doctors think that the risks of oral sex outweigh the advantages unless sexual partners agree to protection methods, especially if the partners are new to each other. Even then there is still some risk of accidental infection if the condom or barrier leaks.

For the new kids on the sexual block, don't believe anyone that says oral sex is safe without protection. Protect yourself and your partner(s). If there is any evidence of gonorrhea that you can see (whitish or light yellowish discharge from a partner's penis, vagina, or anal/rectal area), the best choice is not to have oral or any other kind of sex until the person is disease-free. Yep, for first timers and those that might buy or sell oral sex, it might be a good practice to turn on the light and take a look at where your mouth (or some other anatomical part) is headed!


CDC.gov. Gonorrhea.

PHOTO: CDC.gov, Public Health Image Library item #3805

Last Editorial Review: 12/3/2010