Gonorrhoea is one of the most common STDs in the UK. It is usually found on the genitals, however, it is also possible to get the infection in your mouth, throat, eye, or anus. In this article, our resident Medical Director, Dr Bani, explains everything you need to know. But, first things first, what is oral gonorrhoea?
Oropharyngeal gonorrhoea, also known as oral gonorrhoea, is an infection of gonococcus bacteria in the mouth. Symptoms typically include a sore throat, redness, swelling of the lymph nodes, and a high temperature. The infection is spread through oral sex with someone carrying the bacteria.
Read on to find out more about oral gonorrhoea, the symptoms of the infection, treatment options, and answers to your commonly asked questions.
So, What is Oral Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, also known as gonococcus. Oropharyngeal gonorrhoea, or oral gonorrhoea, is an infection of this particular bacteria in the mouth or throat. The infection is spread by performing oral sex on someone with the STD.
Like some other STDs, you can have oropharyngeal gonorrhoea without any symptoms – which is why it is so important to get tested regularly to avoid passing it to others. However, if you do have symptoms of oral gonorrhoea, you might experience the following:
- Trouble swallowing
- Redness or swelling of the throat
- Sore throat that doesn’t go away
- Fever or high temperature
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
If you’d like to find out more about the signs and symptoms of an oral STD like gonorrhoea, read our recent blog: Symptoms of an oral STD.
How Long Does Oral Gonorrhea Take To Show Up?
If you catch oral gonorrhoea, you can expect to start showing symptoms within one to two weeks of being infected, although for some people, symptoms may only start to show after a few weeks or a few months.
How Do You Catch Oral Gonorrhoea?
It is transmitted through oral sex with someone who has an infection on their genitals, anus or throat.
Oral gonorrhoea isn’t the only STD you can catch without having penetrative sex. Read our helpful blog for more information: Surprising STDs You Can Catch Without Having Sex.
Does Oral Gonorrhoea Clear On Its Own?
Unlike gonorrhoea of the genitals, oral gonorrhoea can go away without any medical intervention within three months. However, if your test returns with a positive result, we recommend that you seek medical treatment straight away to avoid passing the infection to others.
How is Oral Gonorrhoea Treated?
Oral gonorrhoea is treated with a short course of antibiotics like amoxicillin or doxycycline, which help to kill the bacteria in your throat. Once you start treatment, the oral infection should clear up within a few days.
Test For Gonorrhoea With Your Sexual Health
Find out more about gonorrhoea by reading our comprehensive online guide: Gonorrhoea – What You Need To Know.
At Your Sexual Health, we’re specialists in private STD testing. We have over 100 clinics located across the UK, with a wide range of comprehensive test options available. We also offer a discreet postal test service, for those who prefer to test within the comfort of their own home.
Get started by visiting our Clinics or STI Tests page. If you aren’t sure which test to go for, get in touch with a member of our team who would be more than happy to help.
What Can Be Mistaken For Oral Gonorrhoea?
Because of the vague symptoms, a gonorrhoea infection in the mouth may be confused for:
- A common cold
- Strep throat
- Glandular fever (also known as Mononucleosis or Mono)
- Oral chlamydia
Oral chlamydia can sometimes be mistaken for oral gonorrhoea, due to the similar symptoms that the infection presents. To find out more, read one of our recent blogs: Can You Get Chlamydia in Your Mouth?
Oral Gonorrhoea vs Strep Throat
Oropharyngeal gonorrhoea and strep throat are sometimes confused with one another, but they are two very different infections. We’ve outlined the key differences below:
|Oral sex with someone who has an infection
|Someone with the infection talking, coughing or sneezing near you
- Milder symptoms
- Persistent sore throat
- A high temperature
- Redness in the throat
- Severe symptoms
- Persistent sore throat
- A high temperature
- White patches in the throat
Can I get Oral Gonorrhoea From Kissing?
Although rare, you can get oral gonorrhoea from kissing someone with the infection in their mouth.