What is gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is an infection, typically transmitted via sexual contact with an infected partner. This sexual contact may be oral, vaginal or anal. An infected mother can also spread gonorrhoea to her baby during childbirth.
Symptoms tend to appear between 2 and 10 days after sexual contact with an infected partner if they show up at all. Early symptoms can be mild and women often mistake them for a bladder infection. Women may experience bleeding after sex, burning or painful urination and a bloody or yellow discharge. Men may experience pain in the penis, painful urination and discharge. Symptoms indicating a rectal infection may also include painful bowel movements and blood in the faeces.
Gonorrhoea is easily treated. However, if ignored, it can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women which may cause sterility. In men, the infection can also result in sterility through inflammation of the testicles. Other long-term complications may involve liver infection and permanent organ damage.
What is the testing process for gonorrhoea?
A swab of secretion or discharge will be taken from the infected area, such as the cervix, urethra, penis, anus or throat. A urine sample is also suitable for infections
occurring in the genital area.
Gonorrhoea can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
Most women do not experience symptoms, or they mistake them for a bladder or other vaginal infection. If you test positive for gonorrhoea, you should also be screened for other sexually transmitted diseases and your sexual partner/s should be tested and treated as well. If you are infected, your risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections such as HIV increases.