Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI easily passed on during sex. About 50% of women and 10% of men don't experience any symptoms and are unaware they're infected.

Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhoea

In women, gonorrhoea can cause pain or a burning sensation when urinating, a vaginal discharge (often watery, yellow or green), pain in the lower abdomen during or after sex, and bleeding during or after sex or between periods, sometimes causing heavy periods.

In men, gonorrhoea can cause pain or a burning sensation when urinating, a white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis, and pain or tenderness in the testicles.

It's also possible to have a gonorrhoea infection in your rectum, throat or eyes.

Testing for Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is diagnosed using a urine test or by taking a swab of the affected area. The infection is easily treated with antibiotics, but can lead to serious long-term health problems if left untreated, including infertility.

Using the male condom or Femidom (female condom) reduces the risk of picking up or passing on Gonorrhoea, but doesn't eliminate it entirely.  It can also be passed on via oral sex, so using flavoured condoms or dental dams can help reduce the risk.

Treatment for Gonorrhoea

Treatment usually consists of an antibiotic injection followed by an antibiotic tablet. You can sometimes have 2 tablets instead if you prefer. You should start to feel a reduction in symptoms within a few days but it can take up to 2 weeks for pelvic or groin pain to completely disappear. You will usually go back to your clinic 2 weeks later for further tests which will ensure your body has cleared the infection.

Preventing Gonorrhoea

You should avoid having sex until you have been cleared of infection. Gonorrhoea is very easily transmitted via sexual contact, so your sexual partners should all be tested too. Clinics offer a partner notification service where they contact people you feel may have been at risk, and advise them to come and test. Your name will not be mentioned. so your own confidentiality will be maintained.