Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment

VOL: 101, ISSUE: 13, PAGE NO: 27

What is it?


What is it?
- Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection also known as ‘the clap’. It infects the genitals, urethra, anus, rectum and throat.



- In rare cases it can affect the blood, skin, joints and eyes.



- Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK and the number of cases is rising every year.



- Men aged 20-24 and women aged 16-19 are most commonly affected.



- Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.



- Gonorrhoea can be passed on through: vaginal, oral or anal sex; close physical contact; sharing sex toys; from a mother to her baby at birth; and from the genitals to the eyes via the fingers.



- Gonorrhoea cannot be transmitted through casual contact such as sharing towels, cups, plates, cutlery, or from toilet seats.



- One in ten men and one in two women do not experience any symptoms, which means the infection can often go untreated. This can result in serious long-term health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).



- PID can cause long-term pelvic pain, abdominal pain, tenderness and fever.



- If left untreated, PID in women may lead to blocked fallopian tubes, which can result in reduced fertility or infertility, ectopic pregnancy; and



- Untreated PID in men can lead to pain and swelling of the testicles or prostate.



- A mother with gonorrhoea can pass an eye infection on to her baby at birth, which can lead to blindness if untreated.



- Those women who do experience symptoms may notice:



- An unpleasant-smelling green or yellow discharge from the vagina;



- Pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area, including a burning sensation when urinating;



- Irritation or discharge from the anus.



- Male symptoms include:



- A white, yellow or green-coloured discharge from the tip of the penis;



- Pain or tenderness caused by inflammation of the testicles or prostate gland;



- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating;



- Irritation or discharge from the anus.



- Symptoms in both men and women usually appear between 1-14 days after infection.



- Tests for gonorrhoea should not be painful but may be uncomfortable. They involve: a urine sample; a genital examination; and swabs from the cervix, urethra, throat or rectum. Women may also have an internal examination.



- The swab is tested in a laboratory for Neisseria gonorrhoeae.



- The patient should also be tested for evidence of other sexually transmitted infections.



- Gonorrhoea is treated with a single dose of oral antibiotics, or sometimes by injection.



- If the condition does not disappear with traditional antibiotics, doctors may prescribe stronger variations.



- An appointment at a GP or genitourinary clinic should be made for 72 hours after the treatment to ensure the antibiotics have worked.



- Sex or intimate contact should be avoided until it can be confirmed that the antibiotics have been effective.



- Babies with infection, or at increased risk of it, will usually be given antibiotics immediately after birth to prevent blindness and further complications.



- The most effective method of prevention is barrier contraception, such as condoms.

  • Comment

Related files

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.