What is gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is an STI caused by bacteria. The bacteria that causes gonorrhoea likes to live in warm and wet places, like the mouth, eyes, penis, vagina, or anus.
How can I get gonorrhoea?
You can get gonorrhoea if you come into contact with infected semen (cum or pre-cum) or infected discharge from the vagina, throat or anus during unprotected sex.
What does gonorrhoea look like?
If you have gonorrhoea you might not know it because you may not have symptoms or signs. This means that you can continue to spread it to your partner(s) through unprotected sex.
If you have gonorrhoea, you may experience:
- A discharge (a creamy liquid which can be like pus) coming from your penis or vagina or anus.
- Needing to pee more often than usual.
- Pain in your penis or vagina, especially during sex or after ejaculation (cumming).
- If you’ve had anal sex, you may get a discharge, pain or bleeding from your anus.
- A sore throat.
How do I test for gonorrhoea?
Healthcare providers at clinics don’t routinely test for gonorrhoea. Instead, they give antibiotics to treat you if you have physical signs and symptoms. If you go to a private doctor or facility, testing can include either a urine sample or a swab from inside the vagina or penis which is then sent away to the lab for testing.
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How is gonorrhoea treated?
It is treated with antibiotics. If you have gonorrhoea, you should tell the person who you last had sex with and anyone you had unprotected sex with in the past 2 to 3 months. They may also be infected and need treatment. If you are diagnosed with gonorrhoea then you need to stop having sex until 7 days after you’ve finished treatment.
What happens if gonorrhoea is not treated?
If you have gonorrhoea and leave it untreated, it can cause long-term problems for both men and women. In women, it can lead to a problem called “PID” or pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is when the infection spreads up into the upper reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes). It can cause pelvic and abdominal pain, make it hard to get pregnant later or result in ectopic pregnancies – which is when pregnancy develops outside your uterus (womb). In both men and women untreated gonorrhoea can spread to the joints and cause arthritis.
If you’re infected when pregnant, you could also pass the infection on to your baby during delivery.
Gonorrhoea can also increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV.