Gonorrhea impacts about 700,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If untreated, it can lead to serious health complications in both genders, the CDC says. It can lead to infertility in women and especially men, and it increases the risk of transmitting other STDs, like HIV. Babies born to infected mothers are at high risk of developing serious infections and blindness. About 3 to 4 percent of the time, it can spread to the skin, blood, heart and joints in infected adults.