When you catch gonorrhoea early, it’s fairly easy to treat. This is why you’re encouraged to see a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms, or think you might be at risk.
If your tests come back positive for gonorrhoea, you’ll need a short course of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Our doctors can provide the prescription or referral you need.
If you need to collect any medication from a pharmacy, our team can arrange this for you. Simply provide your postcode and they’ll find an available pharmacy in your area - they’ll even send you a text message to let you know that your medication is ready.
Taking your medication
The antibiotics for gonorrhoea are usually given in two stages. The first is an injection in your buttocks or thigh. Our doctors can refer you to a medical facility where this can be done safely and correctly.
This is followed by a tablet, which you’ll take orally.
Depending on your symptoms and how long you’ve been infected, it is sometimes possible to have two tablets instead of the injection, so if you’re nervous about needles, or would prefer not to take time off to visit a health centre, ask your doctor if this is an option.
How long will the medication take to work?
If gonorrhoea is treated early, most of your symptoms will usually clear up in a few days. Some, such as pain in the pelvis or testicles, might take up to two weeks.
For women, any changes in your period should have returned to normal by the time of your next menstrual cycle.
If your gonorrhoea is left untreated for a long time, this can mean you need a longer course of antibiotics. If complications have developed, these may need to be treated separately, which will naturally mean your recovery takes a little longer.
Are there any side effects?
As with any antibiotics, gonorrhoea treatment can cause a few side effects, such as stomach pain and diarrhoea. These are usually mild and will not affect your long-term health.
During treatment, women may be more likely to experience yeast infections, such as thrush. This is because antibiotics can upset the balance of microorganisms in the vagina and allow a fungal infection to take over. Find out more about thrush.
When is it safe to have sex again?
You should avoid any form of sexual contacted (even if you use a condom) until you and your partner have had follow-up tests to confirm that the gonorrhoea infection is completely gone.
These follow-up tests are usually given 1-2 weeks after you’ve had treatment. You’ll both be tested again to see if any gonorrhoea bacteria is still present.
Remember that successful treatment does not mean you can’t get gonorrhoea again, so you should continue to practise safer sex afterwards.
Gonorrhoea symptoms in the throat
If you have unprotected oral sex, you can get a gonorrhoea infection in your throat. However, this rarely produces any symptoms, with 90% of people not aware that they have an infection.
A sore throat is the only real sign, and of course this is quite a common symptom that can easily be dismissed as something that will go away on its own.
Despite this, it’s still important to get tested in order to avoid any potential health complications.