updated 3 days ago in HIV and STIs

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What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria, which can affect anyone. It can affect the penis, vagina or front hole, eyes, rectum (arse) or throat.

How do you get gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can spread through saliva (spit) from kissing and sexual contact, including oral sex, arse play, fingering, fisting, rimming, vaginal or front hole sex, or anal sex (topping or bottoming).

Gonorrhea can spread even when there are no symptoms.

Can gonorrhea spread via saliva or kissing?

Yes, gonorrhea can be transmitted through saliva (spit). This means that a passionate kiss that involves the transfer of saliva can transmit gonorrhea.

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can affect different guys in different ways. Some guys will have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms can appear about 2-3 days after infection but can take around fourteen days to become noticeable. These may include:

  • pain, discomfort or a burning sensation when you piss
  • a yellow, white or greenish fluid (discharge) coming from the end of your penis
  • redness around the opening at the end of your penis
  • red, irritated eyes (similar to conjunctivitis)
  • redness, pain or swelling of your balls
  • discomfort or itchiness during bowel movements
  • pain, bleeding or fluid (discharge) from your arse
  • unusual fluid (discharge) from your vagina or front hole
  • irregular bleeding from your vagina or front hole

How do I get tested for gonorrhea?

A gonorrhea test involves swabs of the throat and arse (and vagina or front hole for trans guys), as well as a urine test.

You can get tested by your regular doctor or at a sexual health service.

How is gonorrhea treated?

Gonorrhea requires medical treatment. It will not go away by itself.

Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics, which your doctor will prescribe.

Avoid sex for at least one week after treating gonorrhoea to prevent it from spreading to other partners.

Contact previous sexual partners to let them know they may have been exposed to gonorrhea and should get tested.

After treating gonorrhea, you can still get gonorrhea again in the future.

What are the best ways to prevent gonorrhea?

Condoms help protect against gonorrhea, but it is still possible for gonorrhoea to spread even when you’re using barrier protection.

One of the best ways to help stop the spread of gonorrhea and other STIs is to get tested regularly and treated if necessary.