STDs Expert Forum
Gonorrhea and Incubation,Time w/out symptoms
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Gonorrhea and Incubation,Time w/out symptoms

About three days ago I was diagnosed with gonorrhea after my physician had me on flagyl/macrobid for 11 days to treat probable bacterial vaginosis I suppose until the std test came back.  The unprotected sex took place about the last week in April, guy and I continued to talk up(had sex twice protected) until now upon my finding this out. He completely denies sex with any others other than a steady he broke up with in March time frame. He was the only one I slept with since December 04.
He even went so far as to say he felt a burning when urinating a day after the unprotected sex with me and went to the doc.
I amtruly baffled angry and irritated, My questions are:
1)Is it possible I had this std since December, without knowing and not have gotten real sick?What's the longest have you heard
a person having this std without being treated male/female?
2)If he is being honest, could he have caught it from exeven if it had been a month or so since they had sex, and he didn't show symptoms or something?
3)Again,if being truthful what could have caused the burning after he and I had sex, and would he have been able to have symptoms and get diagnosed that quick(1 day)?
Heck, it took me 2 weeks from the time to get symptoms(thought I had yeast or something)
Thanks So Much
Tags: Gonorrhea
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239123_tn?1267651214
To cut to the chase:

1) Yes, gonorrhea can persist in women for many months without symptoms.  You could have been infected since December.

2) Yes, your partner could have acquired gonorrhea from his previous GF in March and transmitted it to you in April.

3) Usually it takes at least 2-3 days for gonorrhea symptoms to start, but in about 10% of men symptoms start within 24-36 hours.

So in essence, there are three possible scenarios:  First is that you have been infected since December.  In thinking about this, consider how high your risk was in December, which is related to your sexual risk-taking and your parner(s) risk at the time.  Second, your current partner might have acquired gonorrhea from his outgoing relationship in March and infected you any time from then until just before your symptoms started.  Or third, one of you has had other partners since your relationship began.  In my mind, all these are equally plausible.  Probably the only way to decide is your judgment.  You know your previous risks, and can judge your partner's truthfulness, far better than I can.

Neither of you is without past risks for STD, so at this point does it really matter who first brought this shared infection into your relationship?  If you have had no other reason to distrust your partner, perhaps the best approach at this point is to let it lie.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
THis is unrelated to this thread. but it may be serious...
i am a 19 y/o white male, who had unprotected vaginal sex with a 19 y/o asian female. it lasted about 10 mins i think. 3 days after exposure i became really sick (sore throat, swollen glands, fever) and the doctor said i had non strep A bacterial infeciton...he gave me antiobiotics (azithromaxin or Z-PAK) and i was better in a week...but then a week later i began to feel very tired, swollen glands in my neck, groin and armpits i think, sore throat sometimes, no fever though...this was all during finals at an Ivy League school, so it was a stressful time. I talked to t he girl, who is my friend, and she said she'd been tested before we had sex and that she was clean. but i dont know if i believe her or not.
i still have swollen glands, sometimes a sore throat, and feel very tired...its been a month since exposure...im freaking out...someone help...
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239123_tn?1267651214
It is forum policy to discourage "thread creep" by not responding to new problems entered as comments to earlier questions.  Quick reply:  sounds like classical infectious mononucleosis.  Please re-post as a new thread and I will respond in more detail.

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
i will try to post in a new thread, but i find it impossible to get a new thread. i've been trying.
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Thanks Doctor,
I didn't mean for all the extra information to be written...

Your right though I have no other choice but to just let it go!

One more thing though that is bothering me,
It's hard to believe that a woman can go almost 5-6(or even more at that) months without symptoms(PID), I mean I was having lower ab pain, tons of discharge before I started on the antibiotics. I mean would the recent sex have triggered something??? I don't understand??When I had brought it up to my doc in the beginning she dismissed the idea(of carrying gonorhhea)as very unlikely, which aggravated me because she made me feel ridiculous for asking.
Again I really appreciate your answers!
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239123_tn?1267651214
Why is that so hard to believe?  Most infectious diseases in humans are benign.  For every person who gets a beta-streptococcus infection of the throat, only 1 in 10 gets a symptomatic strep thoat; the rest are asymptomatic.  Before polio vaccines came along, a small minority of people who caught the virus got paralytic polio; the rest got a little diarrhea or nothing at all.  Same deal with gonorrhea in women.  (By contrast, however, almost all men with urethral infection do get symptoms.)  Sex doesn't trigger symptoms in people with gonorrhea.

HHH, MD
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