Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


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 anal and oral sex with someone who has the infection.

One simple way to protect yourself from gonorrhoea is by using a condom when engaging in sexual intercourse.

Related websites

New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS)
NZSHS provide patient information on a variety of STIs.

Sexually transmitted infections – Family Planning
Family Planning provides a range of services including sexual and reproductive health information and clinical services.

Gonorrhoea – Better Health Channel
Information about gonorrhoea provided by the Victorian government, Australia.

Gonorrhoea – NHS Choices
Information about gonorrhoea from the National Health Service, UK.


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 about Sexual Health and STIs.

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