[Question #4148] Gonorrhea dormant in males?

32 months ago
I'm a 35 year old male, just got diagnosed with gonorrhea. Last STD check was in 2013 and was all clear. I've been with my partner for 2.5 years and she was tested in April 2018 and did not have gonorrhea. She got tested again now after my positive result and still doesn't have gonorrhea. I have never cheated on my partner and I have no symptoms, nor did I ever have any. 
I'm really confused as to how I got gonorrhea, I can only conclude that it was from a previous partner but is gonorrhea able to lay dormant and non-contagious in males for over 2.5 years? And if so, should I be worried about endocarditis or infertility from it getting into my bloodstream? My doctor didn't order any tests, just gave me the antibiotic.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
32 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

The most likely answer is that you don't have gonorrhea at all. Simple exam by a doctor usually is not sufficient; lab testing always is necessary. Why did you visit the doctor? What symptoms did you have? Where are you (country, city, etc)? What sort of doctor made the diagnosis (GP, STD specialist, etc)? What antibiotic treatment did you receive? How long has it been since the diagnosis and treatment? (If only a few days, it may not be too late for an accurate lab test.)

With this information, I can give you a better answer to your questions. For now, I will say that it would be very unlikely for a male to have genital (urethral, i.e. penile) gonorrhea without symptoms for over 2 years. That your partner tested negative therefore is further evidence against gonorrhea in you.

Bloodstream infection and endocarditis are very rare in gonorrhea. And if you did have gonorrhea, the antibiotic would almost instantly prevent the bacteria from getting into the blood. Finally, prior bloodstream infection would not explain your situation at all.

I look forward to hearing more from you, but hope these comments are partly helpful.

HHH, MD

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