Q&A: My Husband Tested Positive For Gonorrhea. Did He Cheat On Me?

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QUESTION: I’ve been married for five years. My husband and I were both virgins when we got married, and we never had sex with anyone else after that. A week ago, he tested positive for gonorrhea . Is gonorrhea only transmitted by sexual activity? Did my husband cheat on me?

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Photo: MichaelKuhn_pics (flickr)

Some couples value monogamy and commit to only have sex with each other. Other couples decide to have some degree of an open relationship, which may allow for one or both of them to have sex with other people.

Transmitting STI’s

I am sorry to say this but it is true that gonorrhea is a sexually transmissible infection (STI).

A person cannot get gonorrhea from toilet seats or from shaking hands or from hugging or kissing. Gonorrhea is transmitted from oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex.

Gonorrhea is also easily transmitted from one person to another person when they have sex.

Back And Forth

In addition, many people who have gonorrhea don’t show any symptoms of the infection. As such, I would suggest that you talk to your own healthcare provider and let him or her know that your husband has tested positive for gonorrhea and that you would like to get tested for gonorrhea and other STIs, such as chlamydia and HIV, as well.

I would also encourage you to consider using a condom if or when you have sex with your husband until you know that he no longer has gonorrhea. Otherwise you might end up passing gonorrhea back and forth to each other.

Open/Close

You will also, of course, want to talk with your husband about what this means about his sexual behavior and his feelings about your marriage and commitments to each other.

Some couples value monogamy and commit to only have sex with each other. Other couples decide to have some degree of an open relationship, which may allow for one or both of them to have sex with other people.

More Information

You two might find it helpful to discuss your feelings and desires for your own marriage. Meeting with a sex therapist or counselor might also be helpful.

Learn more about STIs including how they are spread and how they are treated at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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