Gonorrhoea is caused by a type of bacteria and it can affect anyone. Rates of gonorrhoea in Australia have almost doubled from 2002 to 2011 to approximately 53 per 100,000 population in 2011.

Causes and reducing risk factors

It is usually spread by anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom. Always use a condom (add some water-based lubricant if you’d like) to avoid getting gonorrhoea.

The symptoms

Most people don’t have any immediate symptoms. The only way to know is with an STI testCheck out where you can get one here.

When symptoms do show up, look out for a smelly fluid coming from your penis or swollen testicles. You may experience vaginal fluid discharge or pain when urinating.


Gonorrhoea is easily treated with antibiotics. It’s important to avoid sex until you’ve finished your full course of treatment and for at least a week following.

Risks if not treated

If left untreated it could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes, and infertility.

Your responsibilities

If you have gonorrhoea it is your responsibility to let all your sexual partners from at least the past 2 months know so that they can be tested and treated if needed. For advice on how to make it easier to tell them visit the let them know website.

Most of the time, you don’t need to let anyone else know (like teachers or bosses). If you think your job or hobbies may relate to this, talk to the nurse or doctor when you get your test.


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