Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection.

How is it passed on?

Gonorrhoea can be passed on through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are unable to survive outside the body for long periods of time. Gonorrhoea is not spread through hugging and kissing, sharing baths, swimming in a shared pool, cups or toilet seats.


Many people with gonorrhoea have no symptoms, it is important therefore to test regularly.

A person with gonorrhoea may experience symptoms anytime from a few weeks to months or years after the initial infection.

When symptoms do occur they can cause changes in vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or irregular periods. They can also cause pain when urinating and discharge from the end of the penis.

Long term effects

Gonorrhoea can increase the chances of getting or passing on HIV. It is also possible for people with a vagina to have reduced fertility or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

The STI test kit


The test for chlamydia is a vaginal swab for people with a vagina, or a urine test for people with a penis. If you have had oral or anal sex then a swab may also be taken from either your throat or rectum.

It can take up to two weeks for gonorrhoea to show up in test results.

You can order a postal STI test here or find a clinic to get tested.

When will I know my results?

As soon as your test results are available we will send you a text message. If the result is positive for gonorrhoea we will let you know how to get treatment.


Gonorrhoea is treated with an antibiotic injection followed by an antibiotic tablet.

After you and your partner(s) are treated you should not have sex for 7 days.

Telling your partner

If you have gonorrhoea, you should tell all current partners as well as anyone else you have had sex with in the last three months. Current and previous partners may have gonorrhoea without knowing, so it is important for them to be tested.

How to avoid gonorrhoea

  • Condoms can help prevent gonorrhoea infection.
  • Free condoms are available at sexual health clinics.
  • Testing each time you have a new sexual partner helps reduce the spread of STIs.


Can my partner tell if I have gonorrhoea?

They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection, but many people don't have symptoms, meaning their partners wont be able to tell. However, you should tell your partner if you have gonorrhoea as they will need testing and may need treatment.

Does gonorrhoea affect your fertility?

Recurrent gonorrhoea or untreated gonorrhoea can affect your fertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the infection is likely to minimise this risk.