Oral Gonorrhea Symptoms

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Many people, especially young teens, consider oral sex to be "safe" sex. "Safe sex" by many people is defined as having sexual gratification by means that reduces or eliminates the chance of producing a fetus (pregnancy). However, many people include in the meaning of "safe sex," sex practices that prevent or significantly reduce the possibility of getting a disease from a sex partner (for example, HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, or gonorrhea). Most doctors, me included, do not consider oral (and other) sexual practices "safe" unless precautions are taken to prevent or substantially reduce disease transmission between partners, or if the sex partners are uninfected. Consequently, oral sex (any male or female oral contact with a partner's genitalia; most clinicians also include genital/oral contact with any other body orifice such as the anus or rectum in the definition) is not, without precautions, considered inherently "safe sex" because sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) may be transferred by these practices.

Specifically, oral gonorrhea (also termed pharyngeal gonorrhea) is defined as an STD infection of the pharynx with Gram-negative coccal-shaped (round) bacteria named Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Infection is acquired from direct contact with white/yellowish pus-like fluid containing N. gonorrhoeae (also termed discharge or exudates) in one sex partner. This discharge is caused by N. gonorrhoeae. It mixes with a person's vaginal fluids, seminal fluids, or mucus membranes near the anus and rectum that come in contact with another person's oral mucus membranes. The bacterial infection then establishes itself in the pharynx and may be asymptomatic (cause no symptoms), but can cause symptoms of sore throat and discomfort when swallowing food. The affected throat resembles a strep throat with redness and occasionally may have some white spots or whitish/yellow discharge.