Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea is found in infected body fluids from the penis, vagina, mouth or rectum, and spread by direct sexual contact. A baby’s eyes can get infected if his or her mother has a cervical infection at the time of birth.
Symptoms can start from 2 to 7 days after infection. Many people can have gonorrhea and spread it without having any symptoms at all. Gonorrhea may get into the blood and may rarely settle in other parts of the body causing infection of the joints, skin, heart, and brain. In women, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may occur, causing chronic pain and making it very difficult to have children.
Several different antibiotics can be used to treat gonorrhea, such as ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, cefixime, or azithromycin. Anyone treated for gonorrhea should also be treated for chlamydia (another STD).
MD Department of Health & Mental Hygiene – Epidemiology & Disease Control Program