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Gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. Detection and treatment of this disease is carried out by an expert medical team at the STI Unit of the Drassanes Vall d'Hebron Centre for International Health and Infectious Diseases and the HIV-STI Unit at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.



Gonorrhoea is a curable infection caused by a bacteria that is transmitted from person to person via sexual contact, whether this involves the genitals, anus, or mouth. Depending on the sexual practices engaged in, the infection can also be located in the anus and the throat.



In many cases, gonorrhoea causes no symptoms.

In men, it produces a burning sensation and discharge from the urethra a few days after the infection is transmitted; it can also lead to complications and affect the testicles.

In women it can cause:

  • bleeding in between periods
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • vague pain in the pelvic region

In women, gonorrhoea can lead to complications and affect the fallopian tubes and the pelvis area, possibly causing infertility. Other complications are uncommon. 

A newborn baby can also acquire the infection if a pregnant woman has gonorrhoea and does not receive the proper prophylaxis. To avoid this, a preventative treatment is applied at the time of the birth.


Who is affected by the disease?

Gonorrhoea affects people who have unprotected sex (without a condom) with someone who has this sexually transmitted disease.



To make a diagnosis, samples of the genital secretions must be collected using a swab and sent to a lab to carry out tests that can confirm the infection. To diagnose the infection in the throat or anus, samples must be taken from these areas.


Typical treatment

The typical treatment consists of administering a single dose of an antibiotic derived from penicillin via a gluteal injection, if there are no allergies or other contraindications. 

Sexual partners should also be evaluated and treated as needed, even if they do not have any symptoms.



To prevent gonorrhoea, you must use a condom when you have sexual relations with someone who is not a stable, healthy partner.

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