Gonorrhoea (the clap)

Gonorrhoea (the clap) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called gonococci.

Overview

Gonorrhoea (the clap) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called gonococci. Typical symptoms include pain and burning during urination, as well as urethral or vaginal discharge. The infection is treated with antibiotics. The safer sex rules provide good protection against infection.

Symptoms

Sometimes there are no symptoms, but typical symptoms include:

For men

  • Burning and/or pain during urination
  • Reddened urethral opening
  • Itching
  • Slimy or purulent urethral discharge (in particular in the morning)
  • In the course of the infection, pain can be experienced in the bladder and testicles

For women

  • Burning and/or pain during urination
  • Watery or purulent vaginal discharge
  • Menstrual irregularities (e.g. prolonged periods, bleeding between periods)
  • In the course of the infection, pain can be experienced in the bladder and lower abdomen

Complications

  • Very severe infections can cause infertility (in both genders)

Causes and treatment

Causes

The infection is caused by gonococci bacteria. It is mostly spread through sexual contact or while giving birth (if the mother is infected).

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Urethral or cervical swabs to identify the bacteria
Possible therapies
  • Antibiotics (sexual partners always have to be treated too!)

What can I do myself?

Apply the safer sex rules to prevent a gonorrhoea infection:

  • Always use a condom or femidom during sexual intercourse
  • Don't get sperm or blood (including menstrual blood) in your mouth, and don’t swallow

When to see a doctor?

  • Itching, burning or discharge in the genital region
  • After having high-risk (in particular unprotected) sex
    • In particular when fever or other signs of illness appear
  • If your sexual partner is known or diagnosed to have a sexually transmitted infection or disease

Further information

Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en

Swiss AIDS Federation (AIDS-Hilfe Schweiz)
www.aids.ch/en

Synonyms

gonorrhoea, the clap, gonococcal infection

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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