What is Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea, a bacterial infection (which is sexually transmitted), is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoea. Similar to chlamydia, it is present in both women and in men. This infection is primarily found in discharge from the penis and in the vaginal fluid. It can be found in different parts of the body including the penis, the vagina, rectum and throat. Signs of the infection can show within 10 days.

Gonorrhoea can be passed on in a manner of ways but the main way people catch gonorrhoea is through vaginal, anal or oral unprotected sex. Other ways you can pass the bacteria are:

  • Close genital contact –if your genitals touch, even if there is no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
  • Sharing sex toys without washing them and covering with a new condom each time they are used
  • Pregnant women with gonorrhoea can pass the infection on to their babies at birth

Symptoms in men usually show within 10 days but it’s common for women to have no symptoms.

In women, symptoms of gonorrhoea can include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, which may be thin or watery and green or yellow in colour
  • Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine
  • Pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area
  • Bleeding between periods, heavier periods and bleeding after sex

In men, symptoms of gonorrhoea can include:

  • Abnormal discharge from the tip of the penis, which may be white, yellow or green
  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Inflammation (swelling) of the foreskin
  • Pain or tenderness in the testicles

Testing and Treatment:

There are many different ways to test for gonorrhoea but at IPSA Medical clinic the process is quick and painless. Usually, a swab will be used to remove a sample for testing but men may only be asked to provide a urine sample.

For women, your doctor will usually take a swab to collect a sample from the vagina or cervix (entrance to the womb) during an internal examination. In some cases, a sample may also be taken from the urethra. Women are not normally asked to provide a urine sample to check for gonorrhoea because this is a misleading test for women.

The infection is normally treated with a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet. After a few days, your symptoms should improve. It is advised that you avoid having sex until you’ve been informed that the infection has gone.

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