WHAT IS GONORRHOEA?

Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK and can lead to infertility.

It's passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults.

If you live in England, are under 25 and are sexually active, it's recommended that you get tested for gonorrhoea every year or when you change sexual partner.

HOW IS GONORRHOEA TRANSMITTED?

The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid.

Gonorrhoea is easily passed between people through:

  • unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex

  • sharing vibrators or other sex toys that have not been washed or covered with a new condom each time they're used

The bacteria can infect the entrance to the womb (cervix), the tube that passes urine out of the body (urethra), the rectum and, less commonly, the throat or eyes.

The infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby. If you're pregnant and may have gonorrhoea, it's important to get tested and treated before your baby is born.

Without treatment, gonorrhoea can cause permanent blindness in a newborn baby.

Gonorrhoea is not spread by kissing, hugging, swimming pools, toilet seats or sharing baths, towels, cups, plates or cutlery. The bacteria cannot survive outside the human body for long.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Typical symptoms of gonorrhoea include a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when peeing and, in women, bleeding between periods. 

But around 1 in 10 infected men and almost half of infected women do not experience any symptoms.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

Here at TADIC testing for gonorrhoea is done with a urine test or a swab test. The swab is something you can also do yourself. We test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea at the same time using the same urine test or swab. The test is FREE for anyone under the age of 19.

 

Once tested we will be in touch within 1 - 2 weeks with your results. If your test result is negative you will receive a text. If you are positive, you will be invited into the clinic to arrange your treatment.  

If for any reason, you do not hear from us 2 weeks after visiting the drop centre, then please get in touch with us. 

WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?

Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet. With effective treatment, most of your symptoms should improve within a few days.

It's usually recommended you attend a follow-up appointment a week or 2 after treatment so another test can be carried out to see if you're clear of infection.

You should avoid having sex until you have been told you no longer have the infection.

Previous successful treatment for gonorrhoea does not make you immune to catching it again.

HOW TO PREVENT GONORRHOEA

Gonorrhoea and other STIs 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