What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that’s passed from person to person through bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. The good news is that it’s curable.
The bad news is that if left untreated, gonorrhoea can sometimes cause serious complications including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), painful swelling of the testicles (balls), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that happens in the tubes, not the uterus), and infertility (difficulty making a baby). Using condoms and getting tested regularly helps keep you safe.
How do you catch Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is carried in genital fluids and is passed on during vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the infection.
It’s possible – but less likely – that gonorrhoea can be passed on during other types of sexual contact such as sharing sex toys, ‘dipping’ (when the head of the penis brefily dips inside the vagina or rectum), during hen mutual masturbation, or when genital to genital rubbing involves a lot of genital fluids.
How can you prevent Gonorrhoea?
- Using condoms during oral, vaginal or anal sex can prevent the infection from being passed on. It’s also reccommened that condoms are used and changed between partners if you’re sharing sex toys
- If you’ve got gonorrhoea, don’t have sex with anyone until seven days after you’ve started treatment
- Regular STI testing – every 6-12 months – is also important and part of a healthy and confident sex life
- Always finish your entire course of antibiotics
- Testing and treatment for Gonorrhoea
What are the tests for Gonorrhoea?
When there’s no symptoms, gonorrhoea is tested by a simple urine sample or self-collected vaginal swab. Sometimes a throat swab or self-collected anal swab might be taken too. But don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt and it’s super quick too.
If you’re having any symptoms, the nurse or doctor will need to take a look. This will help them decide what kind of testing or treatment you might need.
What is the treatment for Gonorrhoea?
The good news is Gonorrhoea is a curable infection and it’s treated with one injection of antibiotics and also tablets which you’ll need to swallow.
Gonorrhoea is resistant to many types of antibiotics though, so it’s really important that you get the right treatment and take the medication as prescribed. That’s where your doctor will be able to help.
If you get diagnosed with gonorrhoea be sure to let any sexual partners from the past two months know so they can be tested too. And – as always – make sure you go back for regular testing.