Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection.
Gonorrhoea can be passed on through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are unable to survive outside the body for long periods of time. Gonorrhoea is not spread through hugging and kissing, sharing baths, swimming in a shared pool, cups or toilet seats.
Many people with gonorrhoea have no symptoms, it is important therefore to test regularly.
A person with gonorrhoea may experience symptoms anytime from a few weeks to months or years after the initial infection.
When symptoms do occur they can cause changes in vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or irregular periods. They can also cause pain when urinating and discharge from the end of the penis.
It is possible for some women to experience long term problems from gonorrhoea, these include reduced fertility or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Gonorrhoea can also increase the chances of getting or passing on HIV in both men and women.
The test is a vaginal swab for women, for men this is a urine sample. Men who have sex with men will also be offered anal and oral swabs.
It can take up to two weeks for gonorrhoea to show up in test results.
Treatment for gonorrhoea is with an antibiotic injection and antibiotic tablet.
After you and your partner are treated you should not have sex for 7 days.
As soon as your test results are available we will send you a text message. If the result is positive for gonorrhoea we will let you know how to get treatment.
If you have gonorrhoea, you should tell all current partners as well as anyone else you have had sex with in the last three months. Current and previous partners may have Gonorrhoea without knowing, so it is important for them to be tested.
Condoms can help prevent gonorrhoea infection.
Free condoms are available at sexual health clinics.
Testing each time you change sexual partner helps reduce the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Recurrent gonorrhoea or untreated gonorrhoea can affect your fertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the infection is likely to minimise this risk.
They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection but not if you don’t. However, you should tell your partner if you have gonorrhoea as they will need testing and may need treatment.