Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is easy to catch and can cause serious health problems if it isn’t treated.

You can catch Gonorrhoea by having sex or sexual contact with another person with Gonorrhoea. This includes oral, vaginal or anal sex and sex play or sharing toys. Gonorrhoea can also be passed from mother to baby during birth and may result in an infection in the baby.

Many people don’t notice any symptoms. If they do, symptoms could include unusual vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, low tummy pain or unusual bleeding in women. Men may notice a discharge from the opening at the end of the penis (urethra), pain when urinating, or testicular pain or swelling. There may be discharge or bleeding from the anus if there has been anal sex.

Testing for Gonorrhoea is easy; a vaginal swab for women or a urine sample for men. Men who have sex with men should also have throat and rectal swabs. It can take up to 2 weeks after infection for a test to become positive for Gonorrhoea.

If your test is positive, you will need to see your local treatment provider. Treatment usually consists of an injection and two tablets. Anyone you have had sex with in the past 3 months should also get tested and treated.

Using a condom every time you have sex means you are much less likely to get Gonorrhoea.

For more information about STIs, including Gonorrhoea, visit www.justthefacts.co.nz.