Pronounced “gon-nor-re-ya” Once known as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea is a disease caused by bacteria.
If it’s not treated, it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility and other serious problems. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo develops outside the womb).
In men it can lead to blockages in the vas deferens (the tube which sperm travels down), which can also result in infertility. Just like Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea can also lead to reactive arthritis-especially in young men. 1 in 3 men who develop reactive arthritis become permanently disabled.
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How do I know if I’ve got?
The problem is that most people don’t get any symptoms, so they can’t tell if they’ve got it. Visit your GUM Clinic to get checked out. Look out for a yellowish; slimy fluid (discharge) and pain when you pass urine (go for a wee). Sometimes in men the testicles and prostate glands may swell.
How do you get it?
You get it through having unprotected sex (sex without a condom), anal sex, oral sex and through sharing sex toys. If a mother is infected, she can pass it on to her child when she/he is born, which can lead to health problems for the child.
Can I get rid of it?
Yes, if you have been treated successfully, gonorrhoea can only come back if you have unprotected sex with someone who has the infection. Visit your GUM Clinic who will give you antibiotics (tablets, liquid or injection) to clear it up.
Rashes, sores, burning, smelling, itching and generally feeling unwell are some symptoms that you may have an STI. BUT most people don’t have any signs or symptoms that they have an STI so always get checked!