What It's Like To Die From Gonorrhea

As far as STDs go, gonorrhea is probably one of the least devastating of the lot. A trip to the doctor, a short round of antibiotics, and some awkward conversations with your partner(s) are the biggest concerns as people don't usually die from gonorrhea. However, around one percent of people who do contract this disease end up with symptoms that can quickly become life threatening - and the results aren't pretty. If you are easily grossed out, be warned, some of the content in this article is graphic.

Death from gonorrhea generally only happens when someone who has it doesn't seek medical treatment. And, considering that the majority of people who get this disease are highly symptomatic, it's not as if they don't know they have it. Sure, there's a stigma attached to it and it's sometimes hard to admit when something is wrong, but if you suspect you have it, go get help while you still can. 

So, if you're still wondering if you can die from gonorrhea, rest assured that you definitely can. The decline is slow and messy, and by the end of this article, you'll probably be thinking to yourself that safe sex is the only sex you want to have from now on. 

Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

  • You'll Probably Get It From Having Sex

    You'll Probably Get It From Having Sex
    Photo: edwardgazel / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Most people know that gonorrhea is an STD, which means that it is typically transmitted sexually - yes, this includes sexual intercourse, oral sex, and even anal sex. Strangely enough, though, you can contract gonorrhea from more than just sexual contact.

    Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that hangs out in the mucous membranes of the body. This means that any time some of your bodily fluids (including blood and breast milk) hit the mucous membrane of another person, you risk giving them the infection. The most common way of passing it is through sexual contact, but pregnant mothers can also give it to their babies during childbirth, for example. Both men and women can get this STD, but it can generally be completely cured with a round of antibiotics. But let's just say you have it really bad and you decide not to get treated - what happens next?

  • You Might Not Notice It At First

    You Might Not Notice It At First
    Photo: Taylor Robinson Photo / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Even though you can be infected after just momentary exposure, it can take a while to notice any symptoms. Many people start to feel slight symptoms two to ten days after being infected, but in other cases it can take up to a month for any signs to show up. This can be particularly troublesome for people who have multiple partners, because it means the disease can spread quickly and without detection.

    If things get really wild, a person may not even be able to track where they got it from in the first place. It should also be noted that some men and women with gonorrhea never show any symptoms at all, so it's always worth it to snag a quick test.

  • People Won't Be Able To Tell If You Have It

    People Won't Be Able To Tell If You Have It
    Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    Even if you suddenly realize that you have gonorrhea, others around you probably won't have a clue. You see, most of the symptoms of gonorrhea happen on the inside of the body rather than on the outside, unlike STDs like herpes that definitely make themselves known. However, this also means that you won't be able to tell if someone you know has it, so talking with your sexual partners and being sure that they have been tested is essential. 

    You should also know that if you happen to get gonorrhea, you're also more likely to get HIV, which does have symptoms you can visibly observe and is also far more deadly. In other words, gonorrhea may be invisible to the naked eye, but it can pack a powerful punch.

  • Weird Yellow Or Green Stuff Is Going To Come Out Of You

    Weird Yellow Or Green Stuff Is Going To Come Out Of You
    Photo: axi11a / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Whether you're a man or a woman, there is one symptom you're going to notice right away. When you masturbate or urinate, you will find that some strange discharge comes out of you. It will be in an increasingly large amount, and it's most likely not going to be the color you're used to. Instead, it will be a light yellow or milky green color, and it will be thick and viscous.

    You may also notice this type of discharge showing up in your throat if you happened to get gonorrhea through oral sex. Though some people do not get this symptom, it's one of the more common ones, and it is usually the one that quickly convinces people that it's time to go see a doctor.

  • It's Going To Hurt To Pee

    Another thing you'll notice is that when you urinate it's going to hurt - like really, really, hurt. It can be a sharp or dull burning sensation and is accompanied by either a frequent need to urinate or incomplete urination that makes you pee in short bursts. This is also a common symptom of yeast or bladder infections, particularly in women, so it's easy to mistake gonorrhea for some other illness rather than the STD that it is.

    Couple that with the fact that for women the symptoms tend to be less severe, and you've got one sneaky infection. The infection generally stays localized to your genitalia at least, so that's where you're going to find the most pain and grossness.

  • Your Glands Are Going To Swell Up

    Your Glands Are Going To Swell Up
    Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    When your body senses that it has an infection, it's going to do its very best to fight the foreign attackers off by sending white blood cells out to the source of the infection, triggering to your immune system that it's time to pick up the pace. When this happens, the lymph nodes and glands all over your body are probably going to start to swell.

    This means that the glands around your jaw, neck, and ears are going to get bigger, and they may even feel sore or warm to the touch. The same thing happens when you have an infection like strep throat or another bacteria in your body. Your immune system isn't really powerful enough to fight off gonorrhea all on its own, but it's certainly going to try and you're certainly going to feel it.