Gonorrhoea is a very common bacterial infection spread through sexual contact

What symptoms should I look out for?

Most people don't experience any symptoms and feel absolutely fine, that’s why regular testing is important. Symptoms can appear weeks, months or even years after infection and can include:

People are often unaware that they have been infected as a large number of people experience very mild to no symptoms so regular testing is essential!

If symptoms appear, they tend to appear within a week of infection and include:
• Abnormal vaginal discharge (yellowish or bloody)
• Pain or burning when urinating
• Bleeding between periods

Symptoms are more common in males and include:
• Abnormal penile discharge (white, yellow or green)
• Pain or burning when urinating
• Painful or swollen testicles

If your partner presents with any of these, ensure he gets checked!

Gonorrhoea also has the potential to infect your anus if it spread from an infected area of your body to the anus (e.g. wiping when you go to the toilet) or if you engage in anal sex
Anal gonorrhoea often has no symptoms but symptoms can include:

• Pain when pooing
• Itchy anus
• Anal discharge

How is it spread?

• It is spread through sexual contact with an infected person including vaginal, anal and oral sex.
• The infection is carried in vaginal fluid and semen or pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) and can be spread even if ejaculation does not occur.
• Gonorrhoea can infect the vagina, penis, anus, urethra, throat and rarely the eyes.
• It cannot be spread through casual contact such as kissing. hugging, sharing food and drinks, coughing or sneezing.

How do I prevent it?

• The only full proof way of preventing gonorrhoea is abstaining from sex - but if thats not your cup of tea..
• Condoms are your friends! They provide a very effective way of preventing STDs.
• Want to know more about condoms? Click here.
• Dental dams are also a very effective way of preventing STDs when engaging in oral sex.
• Finally regular testing is extremely important in maintaining sexual health. You should aim to get tested at least once a year or every time you change sexual partner.

How is it treated?

• Gonorrhoea is usually quite easy to treat with a short course of antibiotics:
• It is important for your partner to get tested and treated as well!
• If left untreated gonorrhoea can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain and/or infertility.
• Gonorrhoea can also increase the risk of you contracting HIV
• Finally, if left untreated it can be passed from mother to baby during childbirth