What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea, also referred to as “the clap”, is one of the fastest-growing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK, caused by a bacterium (pathogenic microbe) called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. Gonorrhoea can be transmitted during sexual activity, even without ejaculation.
How can I catch Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is highly contagious and can be transmitted through sexual contact with the vagina, mouth, penis or anus of an infected person. Gonorrhoea can live in the throat and rectum of both men and women, as well as in the testes, penis and semen of males and the vagina of females.
What are the symptoms and signs of Gonorrhoea in men and women?
Gonorrhoea can be a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women. In men, it can cause inflammation of the testicles and prostate. Signs of Gonorrhoea are typically mild or non-existent, especially in the first few days after the infection.
However, 5−30 days after sexual contact with an infected person, symptoms will start to appear, differing slightly between men and women, and may include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Painful bowel movement
- Sore throat
- In women: yellowish discharge from the vagina and/or vaginal bleeding
- In men: painful or swollen testicles and/or unusual white, yellow or green discharge from the penis.
There were over 25,000 new cases of Gonorrhoea in the UK last year. Was your last partner one of them?
Did you know? STI / STD facts from Tocolo Health and Wellbeing Clinic
How can Gonorrhoea be tested/checked?
Testing with Tocolo is fast, easy and painless. A urine sample or a swab of your throat or rectum is taken and sent to the laboratory. If you choose our standard test, your results will be available 2 days from when we receive your sample, or on the same day if you choose the FAST test.
What are the risks if Gonorrhoea is left untreated?
Gonorrhoea is a highly preventable cause of infertility, especially since most infected women show no symptoms until their fertility is affected. If left untreated, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which can lead to infertility and potentially fatal ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
Pregnant women with the infection can have higher rates of miscarriage, infection of the amniotic sac and fluid and preterm birth. Mothers can transmit the bacteria to their unborn child during pregnancy or labour, which might lead to eye infections and blindness if left untreated.
Men with an untreated infection are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
Untreated Gonorrhoea can lead to an increased risk of getting other STIs, such as HIV. Therefore, it is important to get tested and treated to cure this infection.
Here’s the booking page for an STI test at our Tocolo clinic in Abbots Langley, Herts.
What if I test positive for Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a course of antibiotics which can completely clear the infection. Tocolo will provide you with a prescription for treatment if you do test positive.
You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should abstain from sexual intercourse until you finish your treatment. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.