Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that is passed from one person to another during oral, anal or vaginal sex. Gonorrhoea can infect the urethra, mouth, eyes, throat and anus, as well as the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes in women. Typically gonorrhoea in ma manifests itself within 5-8 days especially in men where a profuse yellow-green discharge from the penis is observed together with sore testicles, pain on urination, urgency to urinate and redness at the tip of the penis. In women it may be asymptomatic; however it can cause inflammation of the urethra and cervix leading to a yellow-green discharge, lower abdominal pain, pain during urination, bleeding in between periods and after sex.

Gonorrhoea can spread to the bloodstream and cause painful joints, a rash and fever.

The test involves taking throat, urethral, cervical and rectal swabs. If the test is positive, all previous sexual partners should be informed. Symptomatic males should inform partners of the last 2 weeks, whereas asymptomatic males and all females should inform partners of 3 months or last partner if longer.

Gonorrhoea in pregnancy can cause miscarriage or premature labour. During labour the baby may contract eye infection, and have discharge. If left untreated, the infection can cause ulcerations which can eventually lead to blindness. As gonorrhoea can be asymptomatic in pregnancy, it is important to screen pregnant women for gonorrhoea and chlamydia as they can occur simultaneously.

The picture below show the how gonorrhoea looks under the microscope.