With the number of sexual infections continuing to increase across London, along with Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea has been named of one of the top five most common sexually-transmitted diseases, the latest figures also show that one in four STI cases in the UK are in London.
Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria referred to as Neisseria Gonorrhoeae or Gonococcus, it’s mainly found in discharge from the penis and vaginal fluid. This means it can easily be passed between people through unprotected vaginal oral or anal sex as well as sharing sex toys that haven’t been covered with a condom or washed.
With women, the bacteria can infect the cervix (the entrance to the womb) and with both men and women, the urethra (where urine passes), the rectum and also the throat and the eyes. When it comes to pregnant women, the infection can be passed to the baby, so if you think you may be infected, it’s vital to get tested and treated before your baby is born. Without treatment it can cause permanent blindness to the baby.
Gonorrhoea can’t be spread by kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats, sharing cups, plates or cutlery, as the bacteria can’t survive outside the human body for long.
Symptoms include thick, green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, you may also experience pain when urinating and women may bleed in-between periods. Despite this, 1 in 10 men and half of women will not experience any symptoms at all.
Should you be experiencing any symptoms of gonorrhoea or you’re worried you may have a STI, it’s essential you visit your local sexual health clinic for a screening. It can be easily diagnosed through testing a sample of discharge, or testing urine can diagnose the condition in men.
It’s vital to get tested as soon as possible as gonorrhoea can lead to a lot more serious long-term health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women and infertility.
When it comes to treatment, the disease requires a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet. Most of the symptoms should improve or clear up within a few days. To be sure that the treatment has worked, we recommend attending a follow up appointment up to two weeks after, for a retest and to make sure you’re clear of infection.
You can prevent gonorrhoea and other sexually transmitted infections by using appropriate contraception and taking other precautions including male or female condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex. You can use latex or plastic squares (dams) to cover the female genitals if you have oral sex. By not sharing sex toys or washing or covering them with a new condom before anyone else uses them will also deter infection.
At Broadgate GP we provide same day sexual health screenings, our services include self-testing, or a test with your partner and we will provide quick results, which could be later that day.
Whether you’ve had an unfortunate encounter or you’re at the beginning of a new relationship, having a sexual health screening should be a main priority to ensure your partners and your own health.
Our sexual health clinic offers confidential checks tailored to your requirements and symptoms, they are discreet and totally confidential and we use only the most up to date methods to ensure your health and wellbeing. Both male and female STI testing are available from our clinic in London and we can provide all the requirements to suit your needs. For more information contact our team.