Gonorrhoea is an infection caused by a bacterium (germ) called Neisseria gonorrhea.
It is passed on if you have sex with an infected person. This is usually during vaginal sex. Therefore, in men, the infection usually affects the urethra (the tube between the bladder and the end of the penis).
Oral sex or anal sex can also transmit infection to the mouth or anus.
Women may have no symptoms at all. If they do have symptoms then vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, low abdominal pain or pain on passing urine could occur.
More than 90% of infected males will have symptoms such as pain on passing urine, discharge from the penis or pain in the testicles.
If untreated Gonorrhoea in a female can cause a serious chronic infection in the pelvis and possible infertility. In males a painful inflammation of the testicles and even of the liver and joints can occur.
Swabs are needed to confirm the diagnosis. Gonorrhoea is often present in a person who has been diagnosed with Chlamydia and so often treatment for both of these conditions may be given before results of swabs are available.
Early treatment of Gonorrhoea is very simple with an antibiotic which is often given as a once only injection. Sometimes if test results are available from the swabs it may be found that antibiotics by mouth would work better.
If you are worried about the possibility of having Gonorrhoea or other STIs please see your doctor or practice nurse at our clinic where you can be seen for free is you are under 22 yrs old, or you can attend your local sexual health clinic
Gonorrhoea leaflet :http://www.ashs.org.nz/pdf_2007/gonorrhoea.pdf
Auckland Sexual Health Service : http://www.ashs.org.nz/clinics.html