Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection.

How is it passed on?

Gonorrhoea is passed on through oral, vaginal or anal sex.

It is not spread by kissing, hugging, sharing baths, towels, cups, swimming pools or toilet seats, as the bacteria can’t survive outside the body for long.


Many people have no symptoms, so it is important to test regularly.

Symptoms could occur anytime from a few weeks to many months or even years after infection.

Gonorrhoea can cause pain when passing urine, or a discharge from the end of the penis.

Long term effects

Some men experience ongoing testicular pain.

Gonorrhoea increases the chance of getting or passing on HIV.

The SH:24 STI test kit

The test is a urine sample for men. If you are a man who has sex with men, you will also be offered oral and anal swabs.

Swabs for STI test
Urine sample for STI test

Gonorrhoea can take up to two weeks to show up in test results.


Gonorrhoea is treated with an antibiotic tablet and an antibiotic injection.

You should not have sex for 7 days after both you and your sexual partner have been treated.

As soon as your test results become available, we will send you a text message to let you know how to get treatment.

Telling your partner

If you have Gonorrhoea, you should tell all of your current partners and anyone else that you have had sex with in the last three months. They may have Gonorrhoea without knowing it, so it is important for them to be tested.

How to avoid Gonorrhoea

Condoms are very effective at preventing Gonorrhoea infection.

You can get free condoms at sexual health clinics.

Regular testing each time you change sexual partner helps reduce the spread of STIs.


Recurrent Gonorrhoea or untreated Gonorrhoea can affect your fertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the infection is likely to minimise this risk.

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They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection but not if you don’t. However, you should tell your partner if you have Gonorrhoea as they will need testing and may need treatment.

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