Also known as ‘the clap’, Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection found mainly in vaginal fluid and semen. It is transmitted during oral and anal sex and via shared sex toys. As well as in the genital area and rectum, it can also live in the throat and eyes. Gonorrhoea infection rates have grown by roughly 40% in the last ten years.
If you have already tested positive for Gonorrhoea or a partner has tested positive then you can get treated by The Online Clinic by completing a free consultation form.
About 50% of women and 10% of men will not present symptoms of this infection. When symptoms are present, they can include:
- Pain when passing urine
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Bleeding in between periods
- Unusual discharge from the penis tip (it may be white, yellow or green)
- Inflammation of the foreskin
- Painful testicles
When left untreated, gonorrhoea can, like Chlamydia, cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and in men can reduce fertility and cause infections in the prostate and testicles. In very rare cases, untreated Gonorrhoea can spread through the bloodstream to infect other parts of the body, including the spinal cord.
Can Gonorrhoea be Treated?
Gonorrhoea has developed resistance to certain antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin, which was traditionally used as the first line of treatment and it has recently developed a degree of resistance to Cefixime as a monotherapy. There are a few antibiotics that are effective against Gonorrhoea and the preferred treatment in now Ceftriaxone (as an intra-muscular injection) along with 1000 mg of Azithromycin as a single oral dose. Where patients are unwilling or unable to have the injection, then it is advised that Cefixime is prescribed as an oral dose along with the 1000 mg of Azithromycin. Cefixime is a one off dose of a third generation cephalosporin antibiotic. Azithromycin is a commonly used macrolide antibiotic with a broad spectrum of sensitivities. Symptoms normally start to disappear after 2 -3 days following treatment but may take longer.
Because of known drug resistance, it is recommended that patients are tested again no sooner than 3 weeks after treatment and unprotected sex should be avoided until a negative result is confirmed.
Where Can I Get Tested For Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is very easily detected using a first catch urine sample or a urethral or vaginal swab. Testing can be done at your local GUM clinic or if you are looking for a much more convenient option, we recommend The STI Clinic, which is an online GUM clinic.
Testing by The STI Clinic is extremely quick (24 hours normally) and they include treatment if you test positive.