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Gonorrhoea: Just The Facts

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by a bacteria.

This bacteria is mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal discharge.

How can you get it?

It is easily passed on through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex

You can’t get it by:

Kissing, hugging, visiting the swimming pool, from toilet seats, sharing a bath or from sharing plates or cutlery. The bacteria can’t survive outside of the body for very long.

Symptoms:

Typical symptoms include a thick greenish or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis. You may have pain when having a wee, and girls may start bleeding irregularly.

Some people may have no symptoms at all.

Testing:

To get tested for gonorrhoea (or any other sexually transmitted disease), visit:

  • a sexual health clinic (sometimes also called a GUM clinic). Click here to find your local sexual health clinic.
  • your GP surgery
  • a contraceptive and young people’s clinic

Remember, appointments with a doctor or nurse are confidential, which means they do not need to share information with anyone else, unless they are worried about you or someone else’s safety.

It’s very important that if you have had unprotected sexual activity and you think you may have an infection, you get tested as soon as possible. Gonorrhoea can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.

Treatment:

Gonorrhoea is usually treated by a single antibiotic injection, or a single tablet. It usually works within a few days. However, it’s recommended that you go for a follow up in a few weeks to check the infection has cleared.

You should also avoid having sex until the infection is clear and tell any partners if you have it so that they can get tested too.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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