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Gonorrhoea

What is Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STD). It’s often called ‘the clap’. Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria and is spread by having unprotected sex — vaginal, anal, or oral — with someone who is infected, even though they may not have any symptoms.

How do I get Gonorrhoea?

You can get Gonorrhoea by having unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex, and oral sex with a person who already has it. Having unprotected sex with someone is risky because they may have Gonorrhoea and not even know it.

Do I have Gonorrhoea?

About 50% of women and 10% of men don’t experience any symptoms and are unaware they’re infected.

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.

Gonorrhoea can be easily 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.

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How do you treat gonorrhoea?

Some types of Gonorrhoea are more difficult to treat than others. The best treatment for Gonorrhoea is given as an injection (needle) AND pills.

If you do not take the injection, the Gonorrhoea may not be completely gone. You may still be able to spread the infection to your sex partners.

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How do I prevent gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea and other STDs can be successfully prevented by using appropriate contraception and taking other precautions, such as:

  • using male condoms or female condoms every time you have vaginal sex, or male condoms during anal sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis, or a latex or plastic square (dam) to cover the female genitals, if you have oral sex
  • not sharing sex toys, or washing them and covering them with a new condom before anyone else uses them