Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacterial infection of the mucous membranes (linings) of the male urethra, female cervix and sometimes the eye, rectum or throat.
Gonorrhoea is transmitted by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the infection.
An infected mother can pass the infection on to her baby at birth.

Women often do not develop symptoms but can still pass on the infection. Possible symptoms include vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding.
Men with urethral infection may experience urethral discharge, urethral irritation, or pain on urinating.
Infection in the rectum or throat does not usually cause symptoms.

Testing for gonorrhoea is done by swabs taken from the cervix in women and from the urethra in men.

Gonorrhoea is treated with antibiotics. Sexual partners should have a sexual health check and treatment even if they have no symptoms and even if they have a negative test result.

This page was last updated at 2:58PM on June 2, 2022.