October 11, 2010

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

Gonorrhea is also easily transmitted from one person to another when they have sex. Many people who have gonorrhea don’t show any symptoms of the infection.

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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?

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.


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.

Next Question: I Gave My Partner Herpes, Now What Do I Do?

“I made a huge ethical mistake and didn’t tell my partner that I have genital herpes. Now he has herpes. What should I do?”

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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