It has been widely reported this week that gonorrhoea resistant to antibiotics has been found in a few cases in the North of England. As we have blogged about in the past, gonorrhoea being resistant to antibiotics is not new. There have been several cases in Japan, the Far East and increasingly in the US, so it was just a matter of time before case was found at home.

Gonorrhoea is a very contagious STI which often has no symptoms. The majority of men and women have no symptoms at all. So the only way to know if you have it is to get tested. So you may be asking what’s the point of getting tested if I do not have symptoms? The problem is that Gonorrhoea can lead to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men if it is left untreated. It has also been linked to prostate cancer (this is still being researched) and very uncomfortable long term inflammatory conditions in both men and women. You can also pass it on without symptoms, so even if you have no symptoms and do not want to have children, your partner may have symptoms, and they can pass it to new partners.

So getting tested if you have more than one partner is a good idea. Testing is easier. We can do the test on a urine sample or a swab. We (or you) can swab your throat, vagina or urethra and rectum. It all depends on where you have received sexual intercourse. You can have more than one infection at once as well, although this is not common. Results from Better2Know can be instant in some of our clinics to two days depending on the speed you need them at.

Let’s go back to the anti biotic resistance though, as this is important. The drug that gonorrhoea has been found to be resistant to in the UK is azithromycin, which is a common oral antibiotic. Most commonly it is used to treat Chlamydia. Better2Know has not been suggesting the use of one oral antibiotic for gonorrhoea for some years now. If you do test positive we can help you to get treated with two antibiotics – one oral, one injection which so far have not been shown to be resistant to antibiotics in the UK. We would suggest that you do a test of cure two weeks later.

Gonorrhoea testing is available at all 150 clinics and nurse stations across the UK, our Everywhere service and our home sample collection service.

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