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Gonorrhea from Husband Cheating?
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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 from Husband Cheating?

Here's my situation.  My husband and I have been together for the past two and a half years.  We were on again/off again prior to that, and I am not completely sure he was faithful to me before those 2 1/2 years.  I recently found out I was pregnant.  At my first 8 week exam, I was tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea.  The nurse called a couple days later and said I showed a low positive for the gonorrhea test and the chlamydia test came up negative.  She advised that if I got retested, it would come up positive again.  I have an appointment today to be retested.  I have not discussed this with my husband yet - I want to be sure of the results.  I have been 100% faithful to him the past 2 1/2 years.  What are the chances that he has been carrying gonorrhea for the past 2 1/2 years, gave it to me, and I just found out I have it?  I have not had any symptoms, and I don't believe he has either.  I read on this forum that you can't carry gonorrhea for more than a year, but what does that mean?  What happens after a year?  If my test comes back positive again, then I need to know if the only option was my husband cheated on me.

Thanks.
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False-positive gonorrhea tests can occur, that that might be what a 'low positive' result means.  I agree it is a good idea to get retested right away, without taking any antibiotics in the meantime.  (If you take any antibiotic at all, the repeat test will be negative an you will never know.)  If a repeat is negative, it will probably mean you were not infected.  But even a strongly positive result can be falsely positive.

Gonorrhea is not known to be carried for 2 years.  If you have it, you caught it in the past few weeks or months.  Definitely don't confront him until the repeat test result is in.  After that, however, you will need to speak with him.  Because of the possibility of a false result, you need to give him the benefit of the doubt until you know the facts.

Regardless of the result of the repeat test, it would be wise for both you and your husband to be treated.  That's the only way to be 100% sure your baby is protected from possible harm.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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I spoke with my ob/gyn Dr. today.  She said the test they did was a DNA amplification test - they weren't actually testing for the gonorrhea, but the DNA amp. test came back that I likely have gonorrhea.  I didn't take any antibiotics today and had cultures taken for both chlamydia and gonorrhea.  I asked the Dr. about how long I could've had this, and she said she's seen people with asymptomatic infections for 5-10 years.  That doesn't make sense to me, as it goes against pretty much everything I've researched on gonorrhea.  If you do have gonorrhea though, and don't get treated, what happens?  Will your body automatically fight it off in a certain amount of time or will it progress into something else?  I just really want to be sure that this isn't something he could've had before we got back together 2 1/2 years ago.

Thanks.  
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239123_tn?1267651214
Gonorrhea is sometimes said to persist for years, but that is probably a myth; if it happens, it is very rare.  I do not believe your doctor ever saw a patient with proved gonorrhea for 5-10 years. Most untreated gonorrhea goes away in a few weeks or months, but before going away it can cause tubal infection and infertility, and it could lead to premature labor and loss of your baby.  

You either have a false positive test, or you have been infected for only a few weeks or months.  There is no other reasonable explanation.

Do not mess around with this.  A culture test won't help much; the DNA amplification test is more sensitive than culture.  If in doubt, get treated and get your husband tested and treated.

HHH, MD
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FS123 - If you wouldn't mind, could you post the results of your swab tests to further our education around these things.

Thanks and I hope things are going well with you and your pregnancy.

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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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