Do you know what the second most reported STI in Australia is? It’s gonorrhoea. Though it is easily prevented by wearing a condom, gonorrhoea rose 67% in Australia from 2008-2012. Gonorrhoea is a bacterial disease and can be caught by both males and females.
How Gonorrhoea is Spread
Gonorrhoea can be spread by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. The most common way to protect yourself is to always use a condom and a water-based lubricant.
What are the Symptoms?
In a majority of people, no symptoms are reported in the beginning. This means that you and/or your partner could have gonorrhoea right now and not know it. If you have unprotected sex with multiple partners, you are more likely to catch gonorrhoea. Symptoms do show up immediately in some people, both male and female.
Males often have a smelly discharge in the form of fluid from the penis. Another symptom: swollen testicles.
Females may experience pain when urinating or a smelly vaginal discharge.
Is Untreated Gonorrhoea Dangerous?
Not everyone gets the primary symptoms of gonorrhoea, but the secondary symptoms are dangerous. If gonorrhoea is left untreated, it can cause both males and females to be infertile. Females can develop inflammatory pelvic disease. Also, males and females with gonorrhoea are statistically more likely to contract or spread HIV.
Get Checked by a Doctor
A doctor can give you a simple test to determine whether or not you have gonorrhoea, HIV or any STI. Call your doctor or your local sexual health clinic.
How is Gonorrhoea Treated?
In most cases, one cycle of antibiotics will get rid of gonorrhoea. It is important that you not have unprotected sex while taking the antibiotics or a week after.
If you are found to have gonorrhoea, advise recent previous sexual partners so they can get treated. The Department of Health recommends advising everyone with whom you have had unprotected sex in the last six months.
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