Gonorrhoea is an infection caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus found in discharge from the penis and vaginal fluid in infected men and women. You can get it through unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex or oral sex as well as touching of the genitals. It can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.



Symptoms can appear after about two weeks but they may take months.

In women, symptoms are:

  • an unusual discharge from the vagina, which may be thick, and green or yellow in colour
  • pain when weeing
  • pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area
  • bleeding between periods or heavier periods

In men, they are:

  • an unusual discharge from the tip of the penis, which may be white, yellow or green
  • pain or a burning sensation when weeing
  • inflammation of the foreskin
  • pain or tenderness in the testicles or prostate gland.


Gonorrhoea is normally treated with antibiotics. It is unlikely that the infection will go away on its own. If you leave it untreated it can lead to infertility and inflammation of the joints and eyes.