What is it?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is highly contagious and can be spread by vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you get a gonorrhoea infection, there is an increased risk of catching other STIs, including HIV. Gonorrhoea usually causes no symptoms at first, but can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and infertility in women, and cause inflammation of the testicles and prostate, in men. In advanced cases, it can also affect the joints and heart valves in both men and women.
How can I get it?
Gonorrhoea is transmitted through sexual activity with an infected person. It thrives in moist areas of the body including the testes, penis and semen of men, the vagina of women, and the genital tract, throat and rectum of both men and women.
How do I know if I have it?
Gonorrhoea can be asymptomatic in some individuals; however symptoms can be seen from between 5 and 30 days after contact. Symptoms for both men and women may include:
- Pain or burning sensation when passing urine.
- Discomfort, pain or discharge in the rectum
- A sore throat
- Unusual yellow/green discharge from the vagina or penis
- Irritation, swelling, pain and discharge in the eyes that can lead to conjunctivitis
Symptoms in men can also include:
- Pain in the testicles, urethra and penis.
Symptoms in women may also include:
- Bleeding between periods, unusually heavy periods, or bleeding after sex
Did you know…
Women have an 80% risk of getting infected from a single act of vaginal intercourse. Do you know if your last partner was infected?
Better2Know’s testing service is easy and fast. The type of sample required for the test is a urine sample, however a swab of the throat or rectum can also be arranged if you think the infection might be in these parts of your body.
For a standard Gonorrhoea tests, results will be available 1 day from when the sample is received in the laboratory. If you are concerned about other STIs that you may have contracted, you can also combine your Gonorrhoea test with other STI tests. Better2Know also have a range of screens available, which test for a number of STIs from the same samples.
Gonorrhoea is curable and can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Better2Know can provide you with treatment.
Other Consequences of Infection
If left undetected and untreated, a gonorrhoea infection can lead to infertility in both women and men. This infection can often not show any symptoms, so knowing that you might be infected can only be determined by getting tested. Gonorrhoea is one of the leading causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in women. PID is a condition where an infection spreads to the upper reproductive tract, including the uterus and fallopian tubes and causes damage including scarring to the tissues of those organs. The build-up of scar tissue can prevent eggs from passing from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes resulting in infertility and a higher likelihood of ectopic pregnancies.
Pregnant women infected with Gonorrhoea can have higher rates of miscarriage, infection of the amniotic sac and fluid, premature birth, and Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). The bacteria can be transmitted from the mother to their unborn child during pregnancy or labour. Newborn babies can develop conjunctivitis and may eventually go blind if left untreated.
Men who have a Gonorrhoea infection have an increased risk in developing prostate cancer. If you are unsure on whether or not you are infected, get tested now and keep yourself and your partners safe from the common infection.