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Gonorrhoea

Information, symptoms and treatments for Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a common bacterial STI, especially within the UK. Diagnoses are most commonly made in men aged between 20 and 24 and women aged between 16 and 19, though it can affect anyone at any age. This infection is caused by a bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and can lead to serious health complications if it is left untreated, including infertility.

If you think you may have gonorrhoea, it is important that you visit a Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinic or sexual health clinic as soon as possible. To find your nearest clinic, you can visit the NHS resources. They can test and treat gonorrhoea effectively and offer the recommended treatment. Please note, that we are not offering treatment for gonorrhoea at this time.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
OnlineClinic
Medical Advisor

"STIs can cause long-term complications if they are not treated. Taking the right medication is vital."

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What is gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The slang version of gonorrhoea is 'clap'. The NHS has stated that there were 35,000 cases of gonorrhoea in 2014 in England alone, yet it is completely curable. Recommended treatment for gonorrhoea at this time is an injection obtain at your local sexual health clinic (GUM clinic).

Gonorrhoea causes

Gonorrhoea is caused by the spread of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, via sexual activity. This bacteria grows in the warm areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix and uterus in women, and in the urethra in both women and men. It can also grow in the mouth and anus after oral or anal sex.

The kind of sexual activity needed to spread the bacteria can include vaginal or anal penetration, as well as oral sex, and it can be spread through the sharing of sex toys, such as dildos and vibrators.

Gonorrhoea symptoms

For most people who are infected with gonorrhoea, they will not experience any symptoms. It is understood that women are usually less likely to suffer symptoms when compared to men. When the disease causes symptoms, they usually develop within 10 days after sexual intercourse with an infected person.

Symptoms in women

  • Greenish yellow/whitish discharge from the vagina
  • Pain in the abdominals or pelvic area
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Spotting after sex
  • Swollen vulva

Symptoms in men

  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the penis
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Painful or swollen testicles

Men and women experience the same symptoms of gonorrhoea due to oral sex including a burning sensation and swollen glands in the throat.

Long term effects of gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is completely curable if treated when visiting the sexual health clinic. If left alone, gonorrhoea can possibly lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women, and Epididymitis (swelling and pain in the testicles) and infertility in men. Gonorrhoea may also spread to the blood and joints, which is potentially life threatening.

Treating gonorrhoea

If you have come back with a positive result confirming you have the STI, there isn't anything to worry about. The most important thing when dealing with gonorrhoea is to get the injection when advised by medical professionals. That way, you can clear the infection quickly, which means you stand less chance of experiencing symptoms and developing complications.

Prescription medication for gonorrhoea

Prescription medication has cured gonorrhoea in the past, however, at this time we are not offering antibiotics, as the injection is the recommended option due to a different strain of the virus that is able to combat medication. This has been recommended to all online pharmacies in the UK until further notice.

Treatments for gonorrhoea by injection

The most effective treatment for Gonorrhoea is via an injection of antibiotics at your local sexual health clinic.

Alternative treatments for gonorrhoea

There are a number of claimed natural herbal remedies for gonorrhoea. These include the use of Alfalfa, Echinacea and other naturally occurring ingredients. As with many herbal and alternative remedies, there is a lack of solid evidence for their effectiveness.

Preventing gonorrhoea

1) Getting tested

Gonorrhoea can be completely avoided when taking preventative measures, including regular STI testing at your local GUM clinic or sexual health clinic. Some GP practices offer tests, however, please check with your GP before making an appointment.

2) Using a condom

A condom is still the most effective way to prevent STIs including gonorrhoea when used correctly. Remember to check the expiry date and use a new one every time you have sex.

3) Informing your past/present sexual partners

The recommended timeframe to inform past partners after testing positive is about 6 months, however, this might vary dependant on the individual. It's important to share any issues with current and past partners, so they can get tested and avoid spreading the infection further afield. It is possible to do this anonymously at the clinic where you originally got tested as well.

4) Don't have sex until treatment is complete

As well as waiting for the treatment to end (with the injection, your doctor will let you know), it's important to refrain from sexual activity. Having less sex, or stopping if you're not protected or notice symptoms, is also perfectly acceptable.

Buying treatment

Whilst medication in the form of antibiotics is still effective in Europe and America, we have stopped selling both Cefixime and Azithromycin at this time to coincide with reports from the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) that obtaining the injection is the most effective option. Based on this, we advise you to get tested and if positive, seek medical advice straight from your doctor, as well as the injection itself.

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