What is Gonorrhoea?

  • Gonorrhoea which is (sometimes called ‘the clap’) is a bacterial infection.  
  • It is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for you to catch or spread gonorrhoea.
  • If it is not treated it can be passed from the mother to the baby during birth and result in infections in the baby.
  • Men usually have symptoms such as stinging on urination (peeing), and a white, yellow or green discharge from the penis.  Some men may also have pain in their testes (balls) or scrotum (ball sack).
  • Women often don’t have any symptoms or have mild symptoms that they mistake for a bladder or vaginal infection.  Women with symptoms will have pain when they pee, increased vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding between periods.

If untreated, gonorrhoea can cause infertility in women.


  • If left untreated, gonorrhoea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and lead to infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Men can have the complication of epididymitis, which is where the small tubes in the testes (balls) where sperm is stored become inflamed. In rare cases this may lead to infertility.
  • It is important to remember that anyone who has been treated for gonorrhoea can be reinfected if their partner has gonorrhoea.
  • Condoms are effective in preventing the spread of gonorrhoea.