Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection which is passed on during sexual contact with an infected partner. It can be transmitted during vaginal, oral and anal sex and can also affect the throat and eyes if they have come into contact with genital fluids.
Men are far more likely to experience symptoms than women are after catching gonorrhoea. In fact, around half of women with gonorrhoea won’t experience any symptoms, so it’s possible to have it for a long time without knowing. Often the symptoms are mistaken for a urinary tract infection or bacterial vaginosis. Gonorrhoea can have serious long term implications for your reproductive health so getting tested is important so that you can catch it early and get the correct treatment.
The symptoms of gonorrhoea in women include:
A yellow or green discharge from the vagina
Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
Lower abdominal pain
Pain during sex
Bleeding after sex or between periods
You may not experience all the symptoms listed above but if any do occur then you should get tested for gonorrhoea and other sexually transmitted infections as soon as possible.
The gonorrhoea bacteria itself does not cause infertility but it can lead to you to develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Known as PID, this condition can cause the fallopian tubes to narrow and become scarred, increasing your chance of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. It can also cause infertility in some women. If gonorrhoea is treated early then it poses no risk to your health.
If you are pregnant, gonorrhoea can cause you to have a miscarriage or lead to premature birth. You can also pass it on to your baby during childbirth. In babies, it can cause conjunctivitis which may develop into permanent blindness if it’s not treated with antibiotics. If you’ve never been tested for gonorrhoea and think you are at risk of having it, then inform your midwife or GP so that you can get tested and treat the infection before your baby is born.
Tests for seven STIs
Urine or swab test
Urine or swab test
Blood test for four STIs
Designed for men who have sex with men