What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. After chlamydia, it is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the UK. People in the past used to refer to gonorrhoea as ‘the clap’.
10% of men and 50% of women experience NO symptoms – making it easy to pass on to partners without knowing.
How does it spread?
The infection is spread through unprotected sex or contact with infected genital fluids. It can be passed through vaginal sex, anal sex AND oral sex. Less commonly, it can also be spread to the throat and eyes.
The infection can be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby – that’s why its important to get tested before the baby is born. Without treatment, it could cause blindness in a newborn baby.
Signs and Symptoms
A green, yellow or white smelly discharge from the penis or vagina
Pain or discomfort when peeing
Itching or discharge from the anus
Bleeding between periods
Inflammation of the foreskin
Pain or tenderness in the testicles (balls)
As mentioned before, some people show NO symptoms and for many people, they are so mild they go unnoticed. You know your own body best, so knowing things to look out for are key. It’s so important if you do have any signs or symptom, you go to a doctor as soon as possible to get tested.
Gonorrhoea is totally curable (yayyy)!
However, the sooner you get treatment for it the better, as if left untreated it can lead to serious long term health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility. That’s why wearing a condom to help protect yourself against STI’s is so important and getting regular sexual health checkups.
If you test positive, the usual treatment is a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet. With effective treatment, the infection and any symptoms should be cleared up within a few days.
It’s so important if you are ever treated for an STI that you tell your current or previous sexual partners so they can get a checkup and treatment too if needed.