READ MORE about gonorrhoea...
What is gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that is quite common in New Zealand, especially in people under the age of 25. It is very easy to catch, and easy to treat.
It is transmitted during oral, vaginal or anal sexual contact, and penetration does not need to happen to spread the infection. It can also be passed from mothers to their babies during childbirth.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhoea?
Some people don't notice any symptoms and don't know they have the infection. Infection might cause pain when peeing or when having sex, abdominal pain or unusual discharge from the vagina or penis. In women, bleeding between periods or after sex might occur, and men might have painful or swollen testicles.
Symptoms can show up within a week to a month of exposure to the infection.
How serious is gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. In women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause infertility. In men, it can lead to infertility, issues with the prostate and ongoing difficulty with urination.
How do I get tested for gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea can be easily diagnosed through a simple swab: in some parts of New Zealand, chlamydia and gonorrhoea can be diagnosed on the same sample, which means men need only provide a urine sample. Find a local clinic now.
What is the treatment for gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is treated with antibiotics. You will need an antibiotic injection and to take a course of antibiotic tablets. A single dose of the right treatment usually cures gonorrhoea. You may need to take antibiotic tablets for up to two weeks if the infection is more serious.
Be aware, there are drug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea that are becoming more common so it may require further treatment. Ensure you have follow-up testing to check the status of your sexual health.
Other important information about gonorrhoea
If you are diagnosed with gonorrhoea, you’ll need to inform anyone you have had sexual contact with in the last two months. It is important that they are tested and treated too. Your health professional can help you deal with this situation, or read our page on How do I tell a partner?
You should use condoms or avoid sex for seven days after your treatment is finished, so you don’t pass gonorrhoea on to anyone else.
If you have a partner you should both be treated and either use condoms or don’t have sex until the treatment is completed for both of you, or you risk catching gonorrhoea again.
You should have another sexual health check after three months to check the status of your sexual health.