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Condoms with a water-based lubricant help prevent gonorrhoea.

Condoms with a water-based lubricant help prevent gonorrhoea.
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Gonorrhoea (the clap)

2-minute read

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection. Also known as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria and can affect the urethra (the tube for urine), cervix (the opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina), anus, throat or eyes.

Gonorrhoea often has no symptoms, and if left untreated, can cause permanent damage and infertility in men and women.

How do you get gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is spread by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person.

Gonorrhoea can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during birth, which can cause eye infection (neonatal conjunctivitis) and even blindness.

What if I have gonorrhoea?

If you think you have gonorrhoea it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.  Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis with testing and start treatment.

It is very important to tell all your sexual partners from the past three months that you have been diagnosed with gonorrhoea. They will need to be tested for gonorrhoea and treated if infected.

Your doctor will help you decide who you need to tell and how you can tell them.

The following website can provide advice and sample emails, SMSs and letters to send either personally or anonymously:

More information

To learn more about gonorrhoea contact your doctor, sexual health clinic or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about gonorrhoea (the clap), check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2017

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