Complications of gonorrhoea

If treated early, gonorrhoea is unlikely to lead to any complications or long-term problems. However, without treatment, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious problems.

The more times you have gonorrhoea, the more likely you are to have complications.

In women, gonorrhoea can spread to the reproductive organs and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) . Thisis estimated to occur in 10-20% cases of untreated gonorrhoea. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .

During pregnancy, gonorrhoea can cause:

  • miscarriage
  • premature labour
  • thebaby being born with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye)

If the baby isn't treated with antibiotics promptly, there's a risk of progressive and permanent vision damage.

In men, gonorrhoea can cause painful infection in the testicles and prostate gland, whichmay lead to reduced fertility in a small number of cases.

In rare cases, when gonorrhoea has been left untreated, it can spread through the bloodstream to cause life-threatening infections in other parts of the body ( septicaemia ).

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016