Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhoea is easy to catch and is also easy to treat.


Gonorrhoea is spread through skin contact during sex.

As well as genital gonorrhoea, you can also get gonorrhoea of the throat and anus by having oral or anal sex with someone who has the infection.

Protect yourself from gonorrhoea by using a condom when having sex.

Find your nearest sexual health clinic

There are sexual health clinics all over New Zealand. Find a sexual health clinic near you.


Some people with gonorrhoea do not experience any symptoms and men have symptoms more often than women. The symptoms below are the most common.


  • Discoloured/unusual discharge from vagina
  • Tummy pain
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain when peeing
  • Discharge or bleeding from the anus


  • White, green, or yellow discharge from the end of the penis
  • Irritation of the inside of the penis
  • Sore testicles
  • Pain when peeing
  • Discharge or bleeding from the anus


Gonorrhoea is treatable. You will need to take a course of antibiotics, which you must complete. 

You need to wait seven days after finishing your course of antibiotics before having sex.

If you don't get treated, gonorrhoea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both men and women, including:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Risk of ectopic pregnancy due to scarring on the fallopian tubes
  • Infertility (being unable to get pregnant)
  • Sterility in men

For more information and advice about treatment please visit a health specialist. Any of the options below will be able to help you.

  • Sexual health clinic
  • Family Planning centre
  • School nurse
  • Your doctor


Using a condom every time you have sex helps prevent the spread of STIs like gonorrhoea. Go to Safer sex and condoms to find out more.

For more advice on safe sex, STI checks and where to get them, and answers to frequently asked questions, go to Just the Facts.

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