Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury


Gonorrhoea is a common bacterial infection passed on by having sex.

If you're sexually active, it's a good idea to get tested at by your GP, Sexual Health Centre, Family Planning Clinic or school clinic.

Symptoms of gonorrhoea

Some people with gonorrhoea don't have any symptoms.

Women with gonorrhoea may have vaginal discharge, pain on peeing, pain during sex, unusual vaginal bleeding, or lower abdominal pain. Men may have a discharge from their penis, pain on peeing, or pain in their testicles.

Gonorrhoea can also cause anal bleeding or discharge if you've had anal sex.

Diagnosing gonorrhoea

You can be tested for gonorrhoea with a simple swab or urine test. You may be able to take the swab yourself.

Even if you feel embarrassed, it's better to get a simple check than to have untreated gonorrhoea.

Treating gonorrhoea

Treatment is usually an injection and some tablets. A single dose of the right treatment usually cures gonorrhoea. Your sexual partner will need to be treated at the same time.

Untreated gonorrhoea can cause more serious problems. It can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy.

You should avoid sex or use condoms until a week after you and your partner have been treated.

Using a condom every time you have sex is the best way to protect yourself from getting or passing on gonorrhoea.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

See also:

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Telling your sexual partner (partner notification)

Understanding your vaginal swab results

Page reference: 54577

Review key: HISYP-53679