What is it?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. It used to be known as ‘the clap’.
The bacteria are mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid.
What are the symptoms?
In many cases, gonorrhea infection causes no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, gonorrhea infection can affect multiple sites in your body, but it commonly appears in the genital tract.
Gonorrhea affecting the genital tract
Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea infection in men include: * Painful urination * Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis * Pain or swelling in one testicle Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea infection in women include: * Increased vaginal discharge * Painful urination * Vaginal bleeding between periods, such as after vaginal intercourse * Painful intercourse * Abdominal or pelvic pain * Gonorrhea at other sites in the body
Gonorrhea can also affect these parts of the body:
Rectum: Signs and symptoms include anal itching, pus-like discharge from the rectum, spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue and having to strain during bowel movements. Eyes: Gonorrhea that affects your eyes may cause eye pain, sensitivity to light, and pus-like discharge from one or both eyes. Throat: Signs and symptoms of a throat infection may include a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Joints: If one or more joints become infected by bacteria (septic arthritis), the affected joints may be warm, red, swollen and extremely painful, especially when you move an affected joint.
- Condoms remain the best protection against gonorrhea for sexually active people.
- Get screened regularly for sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active
- It’s important that your current partner and any other recent sexual partners are tested and treated if case you are diagnosed with gonorrhea
- Aside from total abstinence (no genital or oral sexual relations), a monogamous relationship with one non-infected partner is the best way to prevent gonorrhea and other STIs.
You should avoid having sex until you, and your partner, have been treated and given the all-clear, to prevent reinfection or passing the infection on to anyone else.
Things to watch out for
Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a short course of antibiotics. GP should be contacted to get a prescription.