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Gonorrhoea can infect the urethra, cervix, anus, throat and eyes. On rare occasions, it can spread to the bloodstream causing fever, joint pain and skin lesions.
If infected with gonorrhoea, you might not notice any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
Gonorrhoea is carried in genital fluid and is spread by unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhoea.
If you have a vagina, most vaginal gonorrhoea infections have no symptoms. If symptoms occur, they can include:
If you have a penis, symptoms can include:
Most anal gonorrhoea infections occur without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they can include anal discharge and discomfort.
Most oral gonorrhoea infections occur without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they can include a sore throat.
Gonorrhoea is tested by:
These tests can usually find gonorrhoea 2 - 4 days after you have come into contact with the infection.
Gonorrhoea is treated with antibiotics.
Symptoms usually ease within 24 hours. If you still have symptoms a week after treatment, go back to your doctor.
You must not have any sex for one week after treatment (not even sex with a condom or dam).
You must not have sex with any partners until one week after they are treated.
If you have a vagina and uterus, untreated gonorrhoea can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a condition that may lead to complications, including infertility.
Gonorrhoea is less likely to come back if you:
Using a condom or dam during sex is the best way to protect yourself from gonorrhoea.
When you've been diagnosed with an STI like this, all of your sexual partners from the last few months should be checked by a doctor.
It is very important that all your sex partners (regular and casual) are checked because if STIs are not treated they may cause serious problems later on.
If you have difficulty telling your partners, you can use Let Them Know for sample conversations, emails, text messages and letters you can send to your partners either personally or anonymously.
This fact sheet provides general sexual health information and is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor.
If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your doctor.
If you require urgent care, you should go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 000.