Infection of the genitals in females with Neusseria gonorrhoeae can result in pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated, which can result in infertility. Infertility is a risk to 10 to 20% of the females infected with N. gonorrhoeae. Pelvic inflammatory disease results if N. gonorrhoeae travels into the pelvic peritoneum (via the cervix, endometrium and fallopian tubes). Infertility is caused by inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tube.
Gonorrhea in pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk of prematurity, premature rupture of membranes, fetal losses, delayed intra-uterine growth, and fever in the puerperium. Postpartum bartholinitis, peri-hepatitis, arthritis, endocartitis and endometritis may occur. About 25% of women with gonorrhea or Chlamydia become infertile.
In men, gonorrhea may cause painful testicles or infertility by blockage of the epididimis or tubes.