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Gonorrhoea

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What Is It?

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection, which affects mucus membranes such as the inside of the penis, inside of the vagina, the inside of the anus or occasionally inside the mouth and throat.

 

Symptoms

Very often gonorrhoea goes completely unnoticed (although it can still be transmitted). Around 5-10% of men and 70% of women who are infected with gonorrhoea will have NO symptoms.

  • A white, yellow or green pus-like discharge from the penis.
  • Sore or swollen testicles.
  • Bleeding between periods and/or pain during or just after sex
  • A change in the natural discharge from their vagina which may increase in amount, become thin or watery and become yellow or greenish in colour
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain when defecating
  • A sore throat (only if infected in the throat)

 

Please Note – If you have developed a greenish discharge it is vital that you attend an Accident & Emergency department as soon as possible.

 

Transmission

As gonorrhoea develops on the head of the penis, and inside the vagina, anus, mouth and/or throat, it is easily transmitted by contact between any of these places.

  •  Through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • Through rimming (mouth to anus contact)
  • sharing sex toys or from fingers shared with each other that may have touched an infected area of the body
  • From mother to baby during birth

 

Prevention

It is recommended that you avoid any sexual activity if you have been diagnosed with gonorrhoea until the infection has been treated and cleared.

In order to protect yourself and others from the general risk of infection, use barriers such as condoms, female condoms, gloves, and glyde dams.

 

Control

If you think you have been at risk, you can have a sexual health screen in your local STI clinic to receive treatment and to be examined for other possible infections.

Your sexual partner(s) may also need treatment as they may be infected even if they do not have symptoms.

If left untreated it may cause serious problems including pelvic inflammatory disease, blindness or even death due to septicaemia (blood poisoning).

It is possible to contract gonorrhoea more than once, therefore, you should go for regular sexual health screening.

 

Remember – regular screening at your local STI clinic is recommended to maintain your sexual health.

 

Treatment

Gonorrhoea is treated with a course of antibiotics.

It is very important to have check-ups after being given treatment as some strains of gonorrhoea are resistant to certain antibiotics.