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 is highly contagious and can be transmitted through sexual contact with the vagina, mouth, penis or anus of an infected person. Gonorrhoea can be transmitted during sexual activity, even without ejaculation.

How can I catch Gonorrhoea?

Any sexual activity with an infected person means that you are at risk of contracting this STI. 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
  • Conjunctivitis
  • 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.
Did you know? …

There were over 25,000 new cases of Gonorrhoea in the UK last year. Was your last partner one of them?

How can Gonorrhoea be tested/checked?

Testing with Better2Know is fast, easy and painless. Our clinics across the UK will test you for Gonorrhoea by acollecting a urine sample or a swab of your throat or rectum. 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. At some clinics, you can choose our instant Gonorrhoea test and have your results ready in around 20 minutes. You can also get a Home Sample Collection Kit by visiting our Home STI Tests page.

Adverse consequences

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.

What is the treatment for Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea infection is curable and can be treated with a course of antibiotics. You should abstain from sexual intercourse until you finish your treatment. It is important to ensure that your sexual partners are also treated to avoid reinfection. Better2Know can provide you with a prescription following your test.

Book your Gonorrhoea test

Better2Know is the world’s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We will arrange a clinic appointment or home testing kit quickly, and deliver fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. If you have any concerns about your sexual health, please contact us or call our friendly booking team on the number above.