How to recognise if you have gonorrhoea

Sometimes referred to as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Gonorrhoea was once thought to have been completely eradicated, however, over the last decade cases have soared. In 2017 there were more than 40,000 diagnoses of gonorrhoea in the UK.

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What is gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea bacterium thrive in warm, moist areas of the body including the penis, vagina and rectum. It can be passed on in several ways, including engaging in oral, anal or vaginal sex, and using infected sex toys.

Gonorrhoea can be symptomless, and as many as 50% of women and 10% of men won’t experience any obvious signs. There are a number of things look out for.

Signs and symptoms of gonorrhoea

Men can experience:

– Pain when urinating
– Unusual yellow, white or green discharge from the penis
– Tenderness and/or pain in the testicles

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Women can experience:

– Pain when urinating
– Usual yellow, green and/or watery discharge
– Tenderness and/or pain in the lower abdomen
– Bleeding after sex
– Heavier than usual periods and/or bleeding between periods

Symptoms usually develop within two weeks of being exposed to the bacterium but they can also become visible several months later.

If you think you might have contracted gonorrhoea, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you can’t attend a sexual health clinic in person, home testing might be the perfect option for you, and if you’re looking for home STI kits London is home to a variety of services that can help you to maintain your sexual health.

Treatment for gonorrhoea

According to Public Health England, in England, a young person is diagnosed with an STI every four minutes. Obtaining treatment early will result in the most positive outcomes. If you choose to use home STI kits London services will invite you for an in-person appointment should your test results come back positive.

Gonorrhoea can be effectively treated with a course of antibiotics. In most cases, a combination of antibiotics will be offered to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

Your symptoms will start to improve a few days, however it can take several weeks for any pain to dissipate. Two weeks after your treatment has finished, you may be offered a second test to ensure your infection has been treated effectively.

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