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Gonorrhoea


Please Note: that some of the language in this article is sexually explicit.

Gonorrhoea is one of the STI groups of diseases and is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoea.  It is also known as the “clap” and is known to infect the genitals throat and rectum. It is the second to Chlamydia in recorded STI’s in UK. Men seem to come off worst with this disease with over 70% of them having symptoms while only 50% of women are aware of any. There were 19,495 infections of gonorrhoea diagnosed in GUM clinics in 2005.

Symptoms:

The symptoms can appear from the time of infection or up to two weeks after, symptoms may initially be mild but overtime becomes more evident. If left untreated more serious complications may occur but this is extremely rare.

  • A thin watery discharge which can be yellow or green  form the vagina or penis

  • Pain when passing urine

  • Local tenderness may occur in the testicles for men and in the low abdomen for women.

  • Pain and discharge from the rectum if anal intercourse or sex aids have been used

Women who do not have distinctive symptoms or seek treatment may go on to develop PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which is the when the infection has spread causing localised inflammation and swelling along the reproductive tubes connecting to the womb. This can lead to fertility problems in the future, with the possible added complication of having an ectopic pregnancy (this is where the developing foetus is growing in the tube not the womb and may rupture).

It is possible for a pregnant woman who has gonorrhoea to pass it on to her child during childbirth therefore it is important to attend ante natal classes and inform your doctor if there is a possibility you make have contracted the disease.  Early diagnosis and treatment is vital and there are many places where you can access help. Click here for more information

Diagnosis:

This can be done by a urine test or by taking a swab specimen from the infected site.
Early treatment for gonorrhoea usually involves a single dose of antibiotics. If complications occur further treatment will be needed.
Sexual encounters should be avoided until treatment has been completed and sexual partners contacted so treatment can commence if necessary. 

Prevention:

It only takes one person to have a sexual relationship with another to pass on the gonorrhoea bacterium, there is no longer stigma attached to this disease other than by poorly informed people.

    • Always use condoms

    • Be aware of your partners sexual history

    • Multiple partners means multiple chances for you to contract STI’s

    • Do not engage in sexual relationships at an early age
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