What’s The Difference Between Chlamydia And Gonorrhea? What’s The Difference Between Chlamydia And Gonorrhea?

What’s The Difference Between Chlamydia And Gonorrhea?

Most commonly, chlamydia and gonorrhoea cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 2 million cases of both infections. Tests are essential regardless of whether or not you're experiencing symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhoea, which can lead to more severe and long-term health issues.

Sexually active people should get tested for STIs to ensure their health and that of their partners. As a result, the CDC recommends annual STI screenings for women and people under 25 with vaginal openings and people with new or multiple sex partners. Getting tested should be done even if you are in a monogamous, long-term relationship. It is possible to diagnose and treat STIs early with STI screening. When potential STIs are diagnosed early, they are less likely to lead to more serious health complications.

Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be effectively treated with antibiotics when diagnosed. I will describe the causes and symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhoea in this article. Here, I'll explain how they're treated and diagnosed and how they can be prevented.


What Is Chlamydia Vs. Gonorrhea?


Bacterial STIs, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea are both familiar and highly contagious. Unprotected sexual contact can spread both diseases. It is common for these infections to occur in the genital area, but they can also occur in the rectum and throat.

There are differences between the two infections and the bacteria that cause them. Gonococcus, or Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is the organism that causes gonorrhea.

There is a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis that causes chlamydia.


What Are The Symptoms?

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea do not cause symptoms in every person infected with them. Infections often go undetected until a test confirms the diagnosis, which can delay diagnosis.


Chlamydia Symptoms


Men and women can experience symptoms differently when they are present. Symptoms Of Chlamydia in females or other people with vaginal passages include:


  • Vaginal redness and swelling

  • Itching and burning in the vaginal area

  • Discharge from the vaginal area changes

  • Urination that causes pain

  • Urinating frequently

  • Painful sexual encounters


Symptoms of chlamydia in males or people with penises include:


  • During urination, there is a burning sensation

  • Discharge from the penis is unusual

  • Pain in the abdomen (especially in the lower abdomen)

  • The testicles are painful or swollen


Gonorrhoea Symptoms

Women and men experience different symptoms of gonorrhoea.


In females and other people with vaginal areas, gonorrhoea may cause the following symptoms:

  • An itchy, burning, swollen, or red vaginal area

  • A yellowish or increased discharge from the vaginal area

  • When urinating, there is a burning or painful sensation

  • Having to urinate more frequently than usual

  • Bleeding between periods or a prolonged or heavier menstrual period

  • Unpleasant sexual encounters

  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvis


In men and others with penises with gonorrhoea, the most common symptoms are:

  • When urinating, there is a burning or painful sensation

  • Discharge from the penis that is white, yellow, or green


What Causes Chlamydia And Gonorrhea?


Bacteria cause both infections. Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, while Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhoea. Almost anyone who engages in sexual activity can contract gonorrhea or chlamydia, but some factors can increase the risk.


Among them are:


  • Sexual relations with new or multiple partners that are unprotected

  • Sexually transmitting chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or another STI to your partner

  • You are sexually active if you are young

  • Current STIs

  • In the case of a recent STI


Chlamydia is more prevalent in Black men who have sex with other men, according to data from 2019.



Antibiotics are necessary to treat chlamydia and gonorrhea. Neither infection can be effectively treated at home, so you must have a test to confirm the diagnosis and consult your healthcare provider about the best antibiotic treatment.

A healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options and care plan after you are diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea. As re-infection is common, your provider may recommend retesting once you have completed the recommended treatment plan. During antibiotic treatment and for at least one week afterwards, they may recommend testing for additional STIs and abstaining from sexual activity. Generally, gonorrhea is treated with ceftriaxone injections and oral antibiotics (usually azithromycin or doxycycline) as needed.


One week of oral doxycycline or azithromycin is usually prescribed to treat chlamydia. Antibiotic treatments are no longer effective against some strains of gonorrhea. In the US, these strains are becoming more prevalent. Chlamydial infections, however, rarely show antibiotic resistance. To prevent the spread of the disease, it is important to inform all recent anal, oral, and vaginal sexual partners about your diagnosis.



Both infections are diagnosed with nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) using urine, cervical, or vaginal specimens. Vaginal swabs are the best way to collect an adequate sample for testing chlamydia in females. You can also test for gonorrhea and chlamydia by swabbing your throat, anus, or eyes.



If left undiagnosed and untreated, gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause serious health problems. If you're sexually active, you should get tested often.


In Both Males & Females

It is possible to encounter the following complications:


  • Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI): When gonorrhea spreads to the blood, it causes disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). As a result, you may develop arthritis, tenosynovitis (inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheath), or dermatitis. A DGI can be fatal.

  • Reactive arthritis: In both men and women, reactive arthritis can result from untreated chlamydia, whether it is symptomatic or asymptomatic.

  • Infertility: It is possible for complications associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia to lead to infertility.


In Males 

Among males and others with penises, the following complications can occur:

  • Epididymitis: People with penises suffer from epididymitis, an inflammation of the tube holding their testicles in place. Infertility can result from this condition, though it is rare.

  • Prostatitis: A condition in which the prostate is inflamed and excess fluid in the semen. The symptoms of prostatitis include high fever, lower back pain, and painful ejaculations.


In Females

Females and other people with vaginal organs may experience the following complications:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): In women who do not receive treatment for chlamydia, 10-15% develop symptomatic Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Untreated gonorrhea can also cause PID. Pain in the abdomen and pelvis can result from PID. There is an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and ectopic pregnancy over time, as well as internal abscesses, damaged fallopian tubes, and infertility.


How To Prevent Chlamydia And Gonorrhea

Sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex, can spread both infections. Abstinence can prevent either disease, but practicing safe sex can prevent it for longer.

It is important to use latex condoms correctly during sex to prevent the spreading of these infections. Furthermore, condoms reduce the risk of other STIs and unintended pregnancies.


When To See A Doctor

STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other sexually transmitted diseases, if you're sexually active, should be treated as soon as possible.

You may also experience unusual discharge, burning sensations in your groin, or unexpected sores or rashes. Reach your provider if you are sexually active and have not yet been tested for STIs.


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Frequently Asked Questions


1- Is It Possible For Chlamydia To Turn Into Gonorrhoea?


Unfortunately, no. Different bacteria cause STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Indeed, one infection cannot lead to another, but people with one infection are more likely to develop the other. Your provider may recommend simultaneously testing for both infections or the other if the first is confirmed.


2- What Is The Prevalence Of Chlamydia And Gonorrhoea?


In the United States, chlamydia and gonorrhoea are the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infections. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 2 million cases.


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