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Oral Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea infection can happen in the throat. In this case it’s called pharyngeal gonorrhea, oral gonorrhea or throat gonorrhea.

Sometimes, sperm laden with this bacteria can gain access to the eyes leading to a dangerous eye infection. Neissseria gonorrhea is among the bacteria that are known to cause perforation of the cornea leading to blindness. This can be a possible outcome in instances where the male partner performs a facial (ejaculates on the face of her partner as part of intercourse)


Oral Gonorrhea infection is acquired from direct contact with white/yellowish pus-like fluid (also termed discharge or exudates) containing Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria in one sex partner. Or in other words, you may get the infection by performing oral sex to a Gonorrhea infected person.

How common

In 2011, it was estimated that 1.9 per cent of London prostitutes had unsuspected gonorrhea in their throats. It’s likely that they would give the germ to men whom they fellated.  While in the US, prevalence of pharyngeal gonorrhea was 5.5% (136 cases diagnosed from 2475 tests). The incidence rate was 11.2 cases per 100 person-years. Pharyngeal gonorrhea was positively associated with younger age and the number of insertive oral sex partners in the past 3 months. Ejaculation did not increase the risk of pharyngeal gonorrhea

Chances of being infected

People who perform fellatio (oral contact with a penis) are more likely to get oral gonorrhea than those who do cunnilingus (oral contact with the vagina, clitoris). Studies reveal that pharyngeal gonorrhea happened to 3 to 7 percent of heterosexual men, 10 to 20 percent of heterosexual women and 10 to 25 percent of men who have sex with men (MSM).

How to detect if someone has it


Sore in the throat and swollen glands typically appear in Oral Gonorrhea

The main symptom of oral gonorrhea is a sore throat, but unfortunately Gonorrhea of the pharynx was asymptomatic (have a little or show no symptoms at all in 92% of cases). If symptoms appear, they are the same for men or women and usually occur a few days after oral contact (about 7 to 21 days) with a partner’s genitals or anal area when the partner is infected with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Sore throat, burning feeling and swollen glands may appear.


  • Latex barrier

Dental dams can be an option. Planned Parenthood endorses the use of plastic wrap for oral sex when dental dams aren’t available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AIDS.gov both recommend plastic wrap for use during rimming. Health authorities, such as AIDS.gov and the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, recommend non-microwavable Saran Wrap, because microwave-safe Saran Wrap has tiny pores to let out steam — which might also let viruses and bacteria through. However, plastic wrap hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA for STD prevention, and no studies have assessed its effectiveness in reducing disease risk during oral sex.


Treatment is both supportive and definitive. The supportive treatment involves taking care of the symptoms while the mainstay of definitive treatment is antibiotics.


Doctor may suggest for the following prescriptions:

  • Cefixime (Suprax), 400 milligram (mg) taken orally
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin), 125 mg injected into a muscle as a single dose
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), 500 mg taken orally
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin), 400 mg taken orally as a single dose
  • Spectinomycin (Trobicin), 2 grams injected into a muscle in a single dose

Please note, gonorrhea infections that affect the throat are more difficult to treat than those that affect the genital area. Although the same medications are recommended for treating oral gonorrhea infections, they tend to be less effective. A doctor may perform a throat culture (A test commonly used to diagnose bacterial infections in the throat) five to seven days after treatment begins. This can help them determine whether the infection is gone. Prolonged treatment will be needed if the infection doesn’t go away within a few days.

Best sources for more information


  • Gonorrhea – Health Condition


  • Gonorrhea Statistics                                                       



  • ‘Live vaccine’ for gonorrhea prevents reinfection


  • Do condoms work?


  • Gonococcal Infections


  • STD Awareness: Can I Use Plastic Wrap as a Dental Dam During Oral Sex?


  • Gonorrhea


The risk chart is the heart of this guide, and it can be found here

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