Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. Gonorrhoea can be found in semen or vaginal fluids and can infect the urethra (wee tube), cervix, rectum (bum hole) and in rarer cases the throat. Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK after chlamydia and most people affected by Gonorrhoea are under 25 (but it can affect people of all ages). Sometimes people call Gonorrhoea ‘the clap’.
How is Gonorrhoea passed on?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection, this means it can be passed on through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be passed on through sharing sex toys such as vibrators, strapons and butt plugs. In some cases, Gonorrhea can also be passed through pregnant people to their baby.
How do I know I have Gonorrhoea?
About 50% of people with vaginas and 10% of people with penises will experience no symptoms, so the best way to know if you have gonorrhoea is to get tested.
- Vaginal discharge that is watery and yellow/green in colour
- Discharge from the penis or anus that is white, yellow or green.
- Pain or burning sensations when weeing
- Bleeding between periods (rarer)
- Pain in the testicles or an inflamed foreskin (rarer)
- A sore throat
How can Gonorrhoea be treated?
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection; this means it can be treated with antibiotics. Most people are treated for gonorrhoea with one antibiotic injection (usually into the buttock) and one antibiotic tablet. You then attend a follow up appointment 1-2 weeks after the injection to make sure the Gonorrhoea has gone. If it hasn’t, you will be given another injection or antibiotic tablet. During this period it is important to not have sex.
Should I test for Gonorrhoea?
All sexually active people should test for Gonorrhoea every 12 months as part of their yearly full sexual health screening. A full sexual health screening is when you are tested for a range of different sexually transmitted infections.
If you think you may have symptoms of Gonorrhoea you should go for a test as soon as possible. If you have recently changed sexual partner or are having unprotected sex with multiple people, you should consider going for a full sexual health screening every 6 months.
Where can I test for Gonorrhoea?
You can get a test for Gonorrhoea at a range of sexual health clinics (sometimes called GUMs) across Greater Manchester.
You can also test at your GP or community services like LGBT Foundation’s full screening clinic for people who identify as men who have sex with men.
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