What is it?

Pronounced "Go-no-ree-ah"

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria. It can infect the throat, anus (bottom), urethra (urine passage), cervix (neck of the womb) and eyes. Gonorrhea is sometimes called ‘gono’ or ‘the clap’.

What are the symptoms?

There are often no symptoms except in the urine passage. Often people pass it on without knowing. If there are symptoms they appear 2 to 7 days after the infection.

  • Unusual discharge from your vagina
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Pain when peeing
  • Pelvic pain, especially during sex
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Irritation or pain when peeing
  • Redness around the opening of the penis
  • Bottom (anal) discharge or discomfort
  • Eye infections

If not treated, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and affect the cervix (neck of the womb).

Discharge may be clear or cloudy, thick or thin, bloody, white, yellow or green. Discharge may have a bad odour or no odour.

How did I get it?

Gonorrhea can be passed on through anal, vaginal or oral sex.

It can be passed on even when you don’t have any symptoms.

How can I make sure I don't get it?

Always use a condom and water based lubricant. Even if you use a condom you shouldn’t have sex with someone who has had gonorrhea for 7 days after they have had finished their treatment. Go for a regular STI checks. This way you can find infections before they get complicated. It also helps stop the spread of STIs to others.

How do I test for it?

A sexual health nurse or a doctor can tell you if you have gonorrhea by doing some tests. They will take a swab (using a long cotton bud) from any place you may have been infected.

These are; the cervix, urethra, bottom (anus) or throat.

The swab will then be sent away to be examined. A pee (urine) sample may also be used to check for infection. It is important not to go to the toilet for 20 minutes before the test. These tests are not painful.

How can I get rid of it?

Gonorrhea is easily cured with a dose of antibiotics.

Who do I need to tell?

It is important to tell people you have had sex with about gonorrhea. They will need to be tested/ treated. Ask a nurse or doctor if you aren’t sure who you need to tell. They can help you with this and help you contact them.

Information on STIs and sexual health

if you are worried speak to a nurse.JPG

Before release

Talk to a nurse at your local Health Centre.

After you are released

Sexual Health Info Link is a service that you can call up for information on STIs and sexual health. It’s anonymous and non-judgmental. Free call: 1800 451 624 or visit their website.

For more information on STIs and safe sex visit the Play Safe website.

The website Let Them Know allows you to send an anonymous messages to tell someone you’ve had sex with that they have come into contact with the infection.