Gonorrhoea Rates in the UK are Increasing
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is usually mild, however can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Recently in the UK, the rate of gonorrhoea in local communities has been increasing rapidly. This trend is happening across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The bacteria can infect the genitals, rectum, throat, and eyes. In many cases you may have no symptoms at all, so you may not know you have an infection. In men, gonorrhoea can cause symptoms such as a burning sensation when urinating, a thick white or yellow discharge from the penis, and pain in the testicles. In women, gonorrhoea can cause symptoms such as a burning sensation when urinating, a vaginal discharge, and pelvic pain.
How is Gonorrhoea Spread?
Gonorrhoea is spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Sometimes, the bacteria can also be spread from a mother to her baby during childbirth.
How Can I Prevent Gonorrhoea?
The best way to prevent gonorrhoea is to use condoms every time you have sex. You can also reduce your risk of getting gonorrhoea by getting tested for STIs regularly and knowing if your partner has been recently tested. You can pick up gonorrhoea in your throat and rectum as well as your genitals, so it’s important to use protection for oral and anal sex as well.
How Can I Get Tested for Gonorrhoea?
You can get tested for gonorrhoea for free at Unity Sexual Health, your local community clinics, pick up test kits from pharmacies or tested at your GP. You can order a home testing kit for free from Unity here.
If I Test Positive for Gonorrhoea, What Happens Next?
If you test positive for gonorrhoea, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. It is important to take all of the antibiotics as prescribed, even if you start to feel better. If you do not take all of the antibiotics, the infection may not be cured and you could develop longer-term health problems or risk re-infecting partners. It is important to test again two weeks after your treatment to ensure the infection is gone.
If You Have Any Questions About Gonorrhoea, Talk to Us.
If you have any questions about gonorrhoea, you can call the Health Advisers on 01173426944 or if you think you have symptoms call for an appointment on 01173426900. They can answer your questions and help you make sure you are getting the best possible care.
Partner Notification for Gonorrhoea
If you test positive for gonorrhoea, it is important to notify your sexual partners so that they can get tested and treated as well. You can do this face to face, by calling them directly, sending them an email, messaging them on social media or by sending a text message. You can also ask the Health Advisers to help you notify your partners.
It is important to be honest with your partners about your diagnosis. It is important to remember that they have a right to know so that they can get the care they need.
Here are some tips for talking to your partners about your diagnosis:
- Be honest and direct.
- Tell your partners when you were last tested and what the results were.
- Let your partners know that they can get tested for free at a sexual health clinic or their GP.
- Offer to help your partners get tested.
- Be patient and understanding. Try not to worry about how they may take the news; it is important to remember that they have a right to know so that they can get the care they need.
- Remember you are looking out for their health and doing the right thing by informing them.