Gonorrhoea is caused by a type of bacteria and it can affect anyone. Rates of gonorrhoea in Australia have almost doubled from 2002 to 2011 to approximately 53 per 100,000 population in 2011.
Causes and reducing risk factors
It is usually spread by anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom. Always use a condom (add some water-based lubricant if you’d like) to avoid getting gonorrhoea.
Most people don’t have any immediate symptoms. The only way to know is with an STI test. Check out where you can get one here.
When symptoms do show up, look out for a smelly fluid coming from your penis or swollen testicles. You may experience vaginal fluid discharge or pain when urinating.
Gonorrhoea is easily treated with antibiotics. It’s important to avoid sex until you’ve finished your full course of treatment and for at least a week following.
Risks if not treated
If left untreated it could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes, and infertility.
If you have gonorrhoea it is your responsibility to let all your sexual partners from at least the past 2 months know so that they can be tested and treated if needed. It can feel a bit embarrassing or awkward at first, you don’t need to call them either. For advice on how to tell them, visit the let them know website.