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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can gonorrhea manifest after months of contracting it and is false result possible if tested soon after exposure?

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Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2818 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 13 Jan 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: my boyfriend has gonorrhea. I have been with only him for 5 years. He doesn't believe me. He really believes I gave it to him. He had sex last summer with god knows who. He was tested in August and it was negative. His symptoms showed up 2-3 weeks ago. I am certain he has been with only me since August. Its Christmas Eve. He has broken up with me and I am alone. He won't believe me that I have been with only him. There HAS to be another explaination. BTW I have had symptoms for a couple months but thought it was a UTI because I have had a hysterectomy 1. Could he have contracted the disease in August and be just showing symptoms now? 2. Could the test have been false negative if taken too soon after exposure?
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Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Possiblefor delayedsymptoms:reinfection or flareup Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Welcome to XXXXXXX Thanks for posting your query. I can understand your concern that being blamed for a mistake for which you are not responsible and that leads to strain in your intimate relationship. 1.It is possible for Gonorrhea was being sub-clinical infection (without any manifestation), likely to be missed in tests in rare occasion. There is a possibility of this sub-clinical infection had been transmitted to you, subsequently he could have got reinfected from you with manifestation. Gonorrhea in women almost always asymptomatic and you would not have felt its presence. But the source obviously from your partner only. If you have tested for gonorrhea with gonococcal culture methods(not with smear examination), it is possible to demonstrate the same with you. Delay in appearance of this symptoms due to re-infection is possible and we had come across such situations. 2. Similarly a test, especially the smear test, likely to give a false negative result for gonorrhea. Culture for Gonorrhea also is not a 100% sensitive (specific!00%). So try to explain the same to your partner and try to heal your strained relations. Treatment for both simultaneously will cure your problem. Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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