NUPAS > Abortion Care > STI Testing > Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection. It is caused by a bacteria called gonococcus or neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is found in the semen and vaginal fluids of infected people. This bacteria can live in cells in the body. These cells can be in the entrance of the womb (cervix), the tube that urine passes through (urethra), the end of the large intestine (rectum) and the throat. Like chlamydia, it can lead to infertility if untreated.


Symptoms of gonorrhoea usually develop within a couple of weeks of infection. Some people get symptoms months later. Half of women with gonorrhoea have no symptoms. 1 in 10 men with gonorrhoea also have no symptoms. This means it can be passed on without knowing. Symptoms can appear differently depending on your sex.

Female symptoms:

  • Smelly vaginal discharge that is yellow or green, or thin and white coloured.
  • Abdominal (tummy) pain.
  • Burning feeling when urinating (weeing).
  • Needing to wee more often.
  • Heavier periods and bleeding between periods.

Male symptoms:

  • Penis discharge.
  • Burning feeling when urinating (weeing).
  • Needing to wee more often.
  • Painful or sore testicles.
  • Sore, red foreskin.


Gonorrhoea is easily treated with antibiotics. You will need to have another test after treatment to make sure it has worked. You will always be offered treatment if your partner tests positive for gonorrhoea. You can catch gonorrhoea more than once, even if you’ve been treated for it before.

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