Gonorrhea: The Lowdown on The “Clap” and Its Implications

Gonorrhea, colloquially known as “The Clap,” is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Yet, despite its prevalence, misconceptions abound. In this guide, we’ll navigate through the realities of Gonorrhea, its symptoms, treatment options, and the significance of addressing it promptly.

What is Gonorrhea?

  • Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • It affects both men and women and can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat.

The transmission typically happens through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person.

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Many people with Gonorrhea don’t manifest noticeable symptoms, making regular testing essential. However, if and when symptoms do appear, they can include:

In Women:

  • Painful or burning sensation during urination.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding outside menstrual periods.
  • Painful sexual intercourse.

In Men:

  • Pus-like discharge from the penis.
  • Painful or burning sensation during urination.
  • Painful or swollen testicles.

In Both Men and Women:

  • Anal itching, discharge, bleeding, or pain.
  • Sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck (if the infection is in the throat).

Treating Gonorrhea

Fortunately, Gonorrhea is curable:

  • Antibiotics: Gonorrhea is typically treated with a specific antibiotic regimen. The exact drugs and their doses might vary depending on resistance patterns in the community and other factors.
  • Complete the Course: It’s essential to complete the entire antibiotic course, even if symptoms disappear, to ensure the bacteria are eradicated.
  • Notify Partners: Informing recent sexual partners about your diagnosis is crucial, as they may also need testing and treatment.

Due to emerging resistance, our guidelines now state we need to do a test of cure, to ensure the treatment has worked

Why It’s Important to Treat Gonorrhea

Leaving Gonorrhea untreated can lead to significant complications:

  • For Women: If ignored, Gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause scar tissue, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.
  • For Men: Untreated Gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, sometimes leading to infertility.
  • Systemic Effects: Rarely, Gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints, which can be life-threatening.
  • Increased HIV Risk: Gonorrhea can make individuals more susceptible to contracting HIV or transmitting it to others.

Gonorrhea, while common, can lead to severe complications if ignored. Awareness of its symptoms, regular testing, and prompt treatment can safeguard one’s health and that of their partners. If you believe you might be at risk or are experiencing symptoms, it’s always prudent to consult a healthcare professional. Your sexual health is so essential to your overall well-being; prioritise it.


Here are the top questions asked and answered in clinic

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both males and females and target the genitals, rectum, and throat. Transmission usually occurs through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.


How is Gonorrhea transmitted?

Gonorrhea is primarily spread through sexual contact, which includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. It can also be transmitted from the mother to her baby during childbirth.


What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?

Many people with Gonorrhea don’t show symptoms. However, when they do appear, symptoms in men can include a pus-like discharge from the penis, painful urination, and swollen testicles. In women, symptoms might involve a burning sensation during urination, increased vaginal discharge, and vaginal bleeding between periods. Both genders can experience anal itching, discharge, or pain if the rectal area is infected.


Can Gonorrhea be cured?

Yes, Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with the right antibiotics. However, drug-resistant strains of Gonorrhea are increasing, making it essential to follow the prescribed medication regimen and follow up with healthcare providers to ensure the infection is entirely cleared.


What happens if Gonorrhea is left untreated?

If not treated, Gonorrhea can cause severe health complications, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease, resulting in infertility. In men, it can cause pain in the tubes attached to the testicles, possibly leading to infertility. Additionally, untreated Gonorrhea can increase one’s risk of getting or transmitting HIV.