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Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Jul 06, 20227 min read

Does Gonorrhea Come Back?

The information provided herein does not constitute an expert or medical advice, nor intended to replace such advice.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. According to the Mayo Clinic, gonorrhea is commonly spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and it can infect the urethra (males), rectum, throat, and cervix (females).

Most cases of gonorrhea respond very well to antibiotic treatment, but you may have wondered if gonorrhea comes back afterwards. Let’s answer some quick questions on whether gonorrhea comes back, below.

FAQ: Gonorrhea

Can gonorrhea come back by itself?

If you followed your antibiotic treatment correctly, gonorrhea shouldn’t come back by itself. But if you didn’t finish your treatment, you may not have eliminated the bacteria completely, which can cause the symptoms to come back. According to the CDC, there are also reports of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea which can be harder to eliminate with standard antibiotics.

Can gonorrhea come back after being treated?

Gonorrhea won’t come back on its own after successful treatment, but you can become reinfected if you have sex with an infected partner during treatment. You can also get infected with gonorrhea again in the future.

Can you reinfect yourself with gonorrhea during treatment?

Yes. According to the CDC, you need to avoid sex during treatment and wait at least 7 days after treatment to have sex again. You should also get retested again after 3 months, even if you and your partner both completed the treatment correctly.

Can a UTI turn into gonorrhea?

No. UTIs are caused by different pathogens than gonorrhea. Although gonorrhea can cause urinary symptoms, such as painful urination, it’s not the same thing as a UTI.

Can gonorrhea be cured forever?

You can successfully treat gonorrhea by following treatment and eliminating it from your body. By practising safe sex and getting tested regularly, you can avoid getting gonorrhea again; however, you can get reinfected if you’re exposed to the infection in the future.

Does gonorrhea go away without treatment?

No, gonorrhea won’t go away on its own without treatment. According to Planned Parenthood, symptoms of gonorrhea can come and go over time, making it seem like you have cleared the infection. But if left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to complications over time.

Can you get the same STD twice?

It depends. Some STDs are viral infections that you can only get once. According to the World Health Organization, these include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes
  • HIV

You can only get each HPV strain once, but since there are multiple HPV strains that affect human beings, you could end up getting HPV multiple times.

You can get bacterial and parasitic STDs multiple times, even if you’ve already been treated for them in the past. These STDs include:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Mycoplasma genitalium

In order to protect yourself from getting these STDs again, it’s very important to practice safe sex by using condoms correctly, and also to get tested for STDs regularly. You can learn about comfortable and accessible at-home STD testing options at STDWatch.com now.

Get Tested for Gonorrhea with LetsGetChecked At-Home Testing


Gonorrhea - mayoclinic.org

Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea - cdc.gov

Gonorrhea – CDC Fact Sheet - cdc.gov

STD Awareness: Will STDs Go Away on Their Own? - plannedparenthoodaction.org

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - who.int

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