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As part of our efforts to keep all patients and staff safe, we are no longer accepting walk-ins.

Please call or book online to be seen.

Gonorrhoea Treatment

How can gonorrhoea be treated

Gonorrhoea is extremely common in the UK, where it is the second most common bacterial STI, after chlamydia. Gonorrhoea is the infection that, in the past, was given the infamous nickname ‘the clap’.

We test for gonorrhoea with chlamydia by urine PCR or by swab.

About 1 in 10 of cases of infected men, and half of all infected women, will not show any obvious symptoms. This means that cases of gonorrhoea often go untreated, and is why it is important to get tested if you think you are at risk, even if you do not notice symptoms.

The symptoms of gonorrhoea are different for men and women.

In women, the symptoms can include:

  • An unusual vaginal discharge (thin or watery consistency, green or yellow in colour)
  • Burning sensation or pain when passing urine (dysuria)
  • Lower abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Sudden heavier menstrual periods (menorrhagia)
  • Bleeding after sex

In men, the symptoms of gonorrhoea can include:

  • An unusual penile discharge (white, yellow or green colour)
  • Burning sensation or pain when passing urine (dysuria)
  • Inflammation (redness or swelling) of the foreskin
  • Testicular pain or tenderness

Symptoms occur usually two to ten days from exposure, but in certain cases it can take up to 30 days, and you may not show any symptoms at all.

If untreated, gonorrhoea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, and can potentially lead to infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. In men, gonorrhoea can affect the prostate and make urination difficult.

If you have no symptoms and are testing for peace of mind, there is no consultation fee payable.

However, if you have any symptoms, please note that a consultation fee is payable of £85 with a specialist nurse or £175 with a GP.


Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoea, or gonococcus. These bacteria can grow in the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes of women, and in the urethra for both women and men. The infection can also occur in the mouth, throat and anus.

The gonorrhoea bacteria are mainly found in vaginal fluid and normal penile discharge, and is easily passed between people through:

  • Having unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected person
  • Sharing sex toys
  • The infection can be passed from a pregnant mother to her child during birth, and can cause permanent blindness in newborns

Because the bacteria cannot survive outside of the body for long, you cannot catch gonorrhoea through kissing, hugging, sharing cups, cutlery, towels or baths, or by using a public toilet.

The best method of prevention is to use male or female condoms every time you have sex.

What to do next

Your sexual health is important. Do not hesitate to come to the clinic if you have any concerns. We are available six days a week and always have female doctors available. Give us a call or use our online booking system to make an appointment.

  • 02073231023Harley St Area
  • 02071010355City of London


Preparing for test

Please avoid going to the bathroom for two hours before your test if you are having a urine test.

During the test

Gonorrhoea is testing on either urine or swab.

Type of sample taken:

Urine or swab


Gonorrhoea is tested with chlamydia on urine or swab by PCR. It can also be tested for using a bacterial swab which will also tell us what antibiotics the strain of gonorrhoea is sensitive to. Please note that testing by swab and then assessing sensitivities can take 3 – 5 days.


Is gonorrhoea dangerous?

If untreated, gonorrhoea in men can develop into a painful infection of the testicles and can reduce fertility. It also can affect prostate and complicate urination. In women it can spread to reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID in its later stages can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

How long does it take for gonorrhoea treatment to work?

Your symptoms, if you have any, usually start to clear up within a few days of treatment, with full relief of pelvic or testicular pain within two weeks. Any irregularities in your menstrual cycle caused by the infection should clear up by the time of your next period.

How long should I wait after treatment before having sex?

You should avoid having sex until a follow-up appointment with the doctor has confirmed that you are clear of the infection. This will prevent you from passing it on to anyone else. It is also important that your partner/s follow the same protocol, to avoid re-infection.



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