Gonorrhea is an infection caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. Shared through sexual activity, this common sexually transmitted disease (STD) affects both men and women, with 580,405 cases reported in 2018 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That was a 63 percent increase from 2014.

While gonorrhea is known to affect the genital region, it can actually affect other areas of the body, including the rectum, throat, joints and eyes. The gonorrhea bacterium tends to target warm and moist areas of the body.

Gonorrhea is almost always transmitted through contact with an infected body part during vaginal, anal or oral sex. This means you can spread gonorrhea even when no semen or blood is exchanged during sex.

Rectum

Gonorrhea can infect your anus and rectum (the final section of the large