The Ultimate Guide To Gonorrhoea

What Is Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium (, 2021). This virus is spread though vaginal, anal and oral sex (, 2021).

This STI can be cured with antibiotics. But as the bacterium that causes Gonorrhoea is often resistant to multiple antibiotics; so treatment with a combination of two antibiotics is usually needed (Wilson et al., 2021).

Common Sexually Transmitted Infections


Genital Herpes






Viral Hepatitis

Male Urethritis Syndrome


Quick Facts About Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection

After chlamydia, Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in both men and women (Wilson, & Wilson, 2019).

✔ Gonorrhoea is also known as “the clap”.

✔ The bacteria that causes gonorrhoea has developed resistance to many antibiotics,

This includes penicillin and tetracycline, as seen in a study of high-risk men in South Africa(Maduna et al., 2020).

How Do You Get Gonorrhoea?

Short answer: Gonorrhea is spread through fluids during sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or rectum of an infected partner (CDC, 2022).

Long answer: Gonorrhoea can be picked up through contact with any mucosal surface (the warm wet places on our bodies) and the bacterium that causes Gonorrhoea (Wilson et al., 2021). This bacterium can be found in fluid from the penis, vagina, pharynx, or rectum, all depending on where the bacterium has infected a person (Wilson et al., 2021).

How To Protect Yourself Against Gonorrhoea

You cannot fully protect yourself against Gonorrhoea, but you can lower your chances of getting the bacterium by (CDC, 2022):

✔ Using condoms.

✔ Holding back from having sex when a partner is having symptoms of the bacterium.

Symptoms of Gonorrhea

The symptoms of gonorrhoea usually appear within two to 10 days after infection, but sometimes they may take up to 30 days to develop. However, approximately 50% of women and 10% of men infected with gonorrhoea do not experience any symptoms (CDC, 2022).

Site of infection Symptoms and approximate frequency of their occurrence Men Women Urethra • Discharge (>80%). • Dysuria (>50%). • Asymptomatic (<10%). Dysuria (10–15%) Rectum • Usually asymptomatic. • Anal discharge (12%). • Perianal/anal pain, pruritus or bleeding (7%). Usually asymptomatic Pharynx Usually asymptomatic (>90%) Usually asymptomatic (>90%) Endocervix – • Frequently asymptomatic (up to 50%); • Increased or altered vaginal discharge (up to 50%). • Lower abdominal pain (up to 25%).

After Exposure, When Will Symptoms Start?

After exposure to gonorrhoea, symptoms can appear between 2 and 5 days but may be as long as 10 days (Wilson, & Wilson, 2019).

It is also possible for infected individuals to have no symptoms at all, particularly in women. Even when a woman does have symptoms, they are usually so mild and non-specific that they are mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection (CDC, 2022).

This is why it’s so important to get tested for gonorrhoea regularly, especially if you are sexually active and have multiple partners.

Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have a sexually transmitted infection and to receive proper treatment if necessary (CDC, 2022).

If you don’t diagnose and treat a Gonorrhoea infection (Wilson, & Wilson, 2019):

✔ Increased risk of spreading the infection to other parts of the body or to other people.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can develop in up to one third of women.

PID can cause chronic pelvic pain in around 40% of those affected, tubal infertility in around 10%, and ectopic pregnancy in around 10%. Women with PID may also experience less common complications such as abscesses, premature labour, and miscarriage.

What Happens If You Ignore A Gonorrhoea Infection?

Is Gonorrhoea Treatable?

Yes, uncomplicated gonorrhoea is treatable and curable with antibiotics.

However, gonorrhoea can become resistant to certain antibiotics, which can make treatment more difficult.

Therefore, it is recommended to follow the treatment plan as prescribed by a healthcare provider, and to complete the full course of antibiotics to ensure the infection is completely cleared.

These medications also help to reduce the chances of spreading it to others (CDC, 2022).

How To Test For Gonorrhoea With Epicentre

Epicentre offers a range of STI tests, including Gonorrhoea testing. Gonorrhoea is not part of our regular STI package, so it is crucial that you specifically request this test by ticking yes for this test on our form.

To get a Gonorrhoea test:

✔ Walk in Or make a booking online for one of our branches and request a Gonorrhoea test.

✔ If you’d like to get you’d like to get tested at home, check out our STI Test In a Box.

✔ Unsure? Contact our team. We’re so happy to guide you through this process.

Testing For Gonorrhoea With Epicentre

1. Book an appointment online or just come through to one of our branches.

2. When you arrive, tick on our form that you would like a Gonorrhoea STI test.

Choose just the Gonorrhoea STIs, or get the whole package, or add on particular STIs to screen for.

4. Our nurse will take you through to our blood collection lounge.

5. Our nurses are trained to make the process of collecting a blood sample as painless and comfortable as possible. Simply sit back and relax.

4. Your sample will then be sent to our laboratory. You will receive an SMS and email with a link to your result.

Why Is STI Testing The Start Of A Health Relationship

Regular STI testing helps to protect both partners from potential infections and prevent the spread of STIs to others. It is also a sign of respect and trust for each other, as it shows that both partners are committed to maintaining their sexual health and the health of their relationship.

STI testing is crucial as it begins a relationship with open communication and honesty, which are crucial components of any healthy relationship. By starting with STI testing, partners can set the foundation for a strong and lasting relationship built on mutual respect, trust, and a shared commitment to sexual health.

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