How can I be reinfected with gonorrhea?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
You can definitely be re-infected with gonorrhea. The antibiotics only treat the gonorrhea you have today. If you are re-exposed to gonorrhea, you can be re-infected. 
The most common way to get gonorrhea re-infection is to have one partner be treated while the other is not. If the treated partner does not practice safe sex, they will get gonorrhea from their partner again. 
If you do get gonorrhea, get treated and make sure your partner is tested. In the future, practice safe sex...every time!
Reinfection with gonorrhea can occur if partners do not get diagnosed and treated. Therefore, it is important that you abstain from sexual contact until your partner has been tested and completed treatment (seven days after a single-dose regimen or after completion of a seven-day regimen). Since too often partners are not treated in a timely fashion and resume sex too soon, reinfection is very common. Therefore, it is important that you return to your provider to have a test for reinfection three to four months after treatment or whenever you can after a month following treatment.

In general, treatment is recommended for any partners with whom you've had sexual contact up to 60 days before having symptoms or a diagnosis of gonorrhea. If the last time you had sex before your diagnosis was more than 60 days, your last partner should be treated for exposure to infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.