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Gonorrhoea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection which can be painful and can cause serious health problems such as infertility in both men and women

The most common symptoms

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  • Women - bleeding between periods or after sex
    Women - bleeding between periods or after sex

    Women - bleeding between periods or after sex

  • Burning pain when passing urine.
    Burning pain when passing urine.

    Burning pain when passing urine.

  • Women - lower abdominal pain particularly during sex.
    Women - lower abdominal pain particularly during sex.

    Women - lower abdominal pain particularly during sex.

  • Women - increased vaginal discharge.
    Women - increased vaginal discharge.

    Women - increased vaginal discharge.

Symptoms

Women – Women may not notice anything wrong but they can still pass the infection onto their partner. Infection usually starts in the cervix, then spreading internally to the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Some women may notice one or more of the following -

  • Bleeding between periods or after sex,
  • Lower abdominal pain particularly during sex,
  • Burning pain when passing urine,
  • Increased vaginal discharge. 

Men – Symptoms in men usually appear within 2-5 days of catching the infection. Infections in the throat or rectum usually go unnoticed.

  • Discharge from the tip of the penis,
  • Burning pain when passing urine.

What does a check-up/test involve?

If your lucky all you need is a quick wee sample, if not be prepared to drop your pants so a swab can be taken from your penis, vagina, anus, throat or eyes. The decision on which test is suitable for yourself will depend on the symptoms you are showing.

Treatment

Gonorrhea can be treated with a combination of antibiotics, one is usually given by injection.

Occasionally if your symptoms don't go away or you are found to have a resistant strain of gonorrhea a second course of antibiotics is needed.

If left untreated?

Women - Gonorrhea can spread to other reproductive organs causing long term pain, blocked tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. During pregnancy it can also lead to premature birth, a miscarriage or the baby being born with conjunctivitis.

Men - Gonorrhoea can cause a painful infection in the testicles, prostate gland and may reduce fertility.

In rare cases gonorrhea can also effect the eyes and can cause redness and irritation, inflammation of the joints and tendons, skin lesions or it can spread through the bloodstream, causing life-threatening infections in other parts of the body.