Yes, gonorrhea can lead to infertility and other health effects if left untreated. Antibiotic treatment can cure gonorrhea and reduce your chance of long-term complications.

When left untreated, gonorrhea can move into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

This can lead to infertility as it can cause:

When the fallopian tubes are blocked, it leads to infertility because the egg and sperm cannot meet. This is termed tubal factor infertility (TBI). TBI accounts for around 30% of infertility cases in females.

Gonorrhea may also pass to a newborn during delivery and may cause an eye infection. However, certain medications can prevent gonorrhea from affecting a developing pregnancy or transmitting during childbirth.

If you have a penis, untreated gonorrhea can also lead to infertility, according to research.

This is because it can cause:

  • scarring of the urethra
  • an abscess inside your penis
  • epididymitis, which is inflammation of the semen-carrying tubes near your testicles

STIs like gonorrhea can also affect sperm quality.

The only way to know whether you’ve contracted gonorrhea is to get tested.

Gonorrhea can’t be treated with over-the-counter or home remedies. However, antibiotics can usually cure gonorrhea.

If you think you have gonorrhea, the first step is to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.

You can access free or lower cost STI diagnosis and treatment at:

If you’d prefer, you can also try at-home STI tests. Our FindCare tool may also help you find a primary care doctor.

What STIs or STDs can make you infertile?

Gonnorhea and chlamydia can both cause infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is because they can cause PID and tubal factor infertility.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) doesn’t directly cause infertility. However, some strains of HPV could lead to cervical cancer, which can affect your reproductive abilities if it is not treated.

According to research, herpes may contribute to male infertility.

Does gonorrhea affect you forever?

No. With the right treatment, gonorrhea can be cured. However, if your gonorrhea is left untreated, it can cause a range of health complications.

If you have or suspect you have gonorrhea, make a medical appointment as soon as possible.

Can you have a baby if you’ve had gonorrhea?

Yes, it’s possible to have a baby if you’ve had gonorrhea. However, if left untreated, gonorrhea can affect your fertility. It’s best to treat the condition as soon as possible.

How do you know if you’re infertile?

Generally, infertility means that you haven’t been able to get pregnant after a year of trying to conceive. If you’re over 35 years of age, infertility is when you haven’t been able to get pregnant after 6 months of trying.

Gonorrhea is usually treatable, and it is possible to become pregnant after having gonorrhea. However, if left untreated, the condition can affect your reproductive health and cause infertility, among other health issues.

If you have or think you may have gonorrhea, it’s important to contact a healthcare professional. Gonorrhea cannot be treated with over-the-counter products or home remedies.


Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She’s passionate about empowering readers to take care of their mental and physical health through science-based, empathetically delivered information.