[Question #1999] Redness at the back of the throat

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83 months ago
I'm 43 year old male in good health I'm bisexual I had oral sex with another male it's approximately 7 to 8 weeks ago the following day I had flu like symptoms the next day in which I took ibuprofen and it cleared,the flu like symptoms came back again a week later in which I took ibuprofen and it cleared again since then I have redness at the back of the throat causing mild discomfort and it seems to cause mild indegestion from time to time I have done some research on line and I suspect I have gonorrhoea my question is will it clear by itself and if it does how long will it take 
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
83 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll try to help.  I suspect that they symptoms that you describe are not gonorrhea.  Several reasons for this comment..  The most important reasons are:
1.  When gonorrhea is acquired and causes symptoms, never causes them within 24 hours of infection.  It takes a bit longer for the infection to establish itself and cause the inflammation that leads to symptoms.
2.  The second factor is that gonorrhea infections of the throat are nearly always asymptomatic (unlike penile gonorrhea).
3.  A 3rd and 4th reasons for my suspicion that this is not gonorrhea is simply that most persons do not have gonorrhea and even when exposed, most sexual exposures do not lead to infection. 

My guess is that you acquired one of the run of the mill/non-STI viral infections that most of us do acquire from time to time and is lingering a bit.

Information acquired on-line is, unfortunately often incorrect or overstated.   that said, in answer to your question, at 10 days to 2 weeks the single study which evaluated this suggest that about half of gonorrhea throat infections will have cleared on their own without antibiotics. 

At this point you may wish to discuss your continued symptoms with your doctor.  In addition, depending on your exposure history, testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia at any and all sites of sexual exposure is recommended as a routine sexual health practice to make sure that you have not been asymptomatically infected.  Typically for men who have had other male partners, we would also recommend blood tests for syphilis and HIV.  I hope that these comments and information are helpful to you.  EWH