THE STI THAT’S ON THE RISE: GONORRHOEA
At London Doctors Clinic, we've provided our STD testing service to hundreds of patients coming through our doors. Whether symptomatic or not, if you're looking for a basic or thorough screen, LDC is the perfect place to get the advice, tests, quick results and any necessary treatment - all in one place! We even have same day doctor appointments, should you need to book in last minute.
What Is Gonorrhoea?
One of the most common STI's we test for is Gonorrhoea, which is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
It is often coexistent with Chlamydia, a different STI, which can have similar symptoms. Like chlamydia, gonorrhoea is treatable with antibiotics. Regular STI screening is recommended for both chlamydia and gonorrhoea, since they do not always present with symptoms.
How Do You Catch Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is very infectious and spread through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex - this means that you can protect yourself from gonorrhoea by having protected sex. If you want to have unprotected sex with a new partner it’s a good idea to both have an STI screen so you know that it’s safe - screens can be done at a sexual health clinic or a doctors surgery.
You can protect yourself from gonorrhoea by having protected sex
If you have contracted gonorrhoea you may not have any symptoms at all. The most common symptom in men is unusual white, yellow or green watery discharge from the penis and pain on urination. Women may also present with unusual discharge or bleeding between periods or during and after sex. You may also feel generally unwell or have abdominal pain.
Gonorrhoea can cause long term health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Gonorrhoea is more likely to cause pelvic inflammatory disease than chlamydia, although they often coexist. Even after the initial infection is treated with antibiotics some of the long term changes of pelvic inflammatory disease can continue causing abdominal pain and sub fertility. Protecting yourself from gonorrhoea and seeking treatment from your doctor or private GP if there is any chance you may have gonorrhoea is therefore very important.
Testing For Gonorrhoea
If you are worried you might have an STI, you can have a standard set of STI tests which include gonorrhoea and chlamydia as well as HIV and Syphilis. The gonorrhoea tests will be performed using a urine sample or a swab which you can usually take yourself. Your doctor will then contact you to let you know the results.
If the test is positive, you will need to arrange to have treatment. Gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics. This is usually two different antibiotics in a single dose but there are different resistance patterns across the country and so the antibiotics are sometimes different.
You can catch gonorrhoea again, from the same partner if they are untreated, or from any other unprotected sex. Your previous partners will need to be tested as well, but the clinic can contact these people anonymously on your behalf.
The best way to protect yourself from gonorrhoea is protected sex, and having an STI screen with your new partner if you want to have unprotected sex.
By Ruth Laurence King