In untreated gonorrhea infections, the bacteria can spread up into the reproductive tract, or more rarely, can spread through the bloodstream and infect the joints, heart valves, or the brain.
The most common result of untreated gonorrhea is PID, a serious infection of the female reproductive tract. Gonococcal PID often appears immediately after the menstrual period. PID causes scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes. If the tube is partially scarred, the fertilized egg may not be able to pass into the uterus. If this happens, the embryo may implant in the tube causing a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. This serious complication may result in a miscarriage and can cause the death of the mother.
Rarely, untreated gonorrhea infections can spread through the blood to the joints. It can cause an inflammation of the joints which is far-reaching.
If you are infected with gonorrhea, your risk of getting HIV infection increases (HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, causes AIDS). Therefore, it is critical for you to either prevent yourself from getting gonorrhea or get treated early if you already are infected with it.
- Bleeding associated with vaginal intercourse
- Painful or burning sensations when urinating
- Vaginal discharge that is yellow or bloody
More advanced symptoms, which may indicate the development of PID, include cramps and pain, bleeding between menstrual periods, vomiting, or fever.
Men have symptoms more often than women, including:
- Pus from the penis and pain
- Burning sensations during urination that may be severe
Symptoms of rectal infection include discharge, anal itching, and occasional painful bowel movements with fresh blood on the feces.