Please Enable Javascript

Skip to the main content

Sexual Health Clinic

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI.) Sexually transmitted infections are bacteria (germs) that can be passed from one person to another during sex or intimate contact (foreplay.)

Gonorrhoea can affect both men and women.

Symptoms

The symptoms that you may get depend on the part of your body that is infected with gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea can live in the urethra, vagina, rectum and throat.

Women with gonorrhoea may notice:

  • Pain when passing urine
  • Discharge from the vagina
  • Bleeding between periods

Men with gonorrhoea may notice:

  • Pain when passing urine
  • Discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Painful or swollen testicles

If your rectum is infected with gonorrhoea, you may notice:

  • Bleeding or discharge coming from the anus
  • Itching of the anus
  • Pain in the anus, especially when going to the toilet

If your throat is infected with gonorrhoea, you may notice a sore throat. However, most people with gonorrhoea do not have any symptoms and don’t even know that they have it!

Getting tested & treatment

A doctor or nurse will use a cotton bud to take samples of fluid from parts of your body that could be infected with gonorrhoea. This is known as taking a swab. The cotton bud is then sent to the laboratory to look for the bacteria that cause gonorrhoea. In women, the most common site of infection is the cervix (neck of the womb.) In men, the most common site of infection is the urethra. Swabs may be taken from the anus or throat if you think you might be infected there.

The doctor or nurse may also ask you to provide a urine sample, to be tested for the bacteria that cause gonorrhoea.

Gonorrhoea is easily treated with antibiotics. You are unlikely to develop any serious problems if your gonorrhoea is treated early.

For more information on gonorrhoea please see this page.