What is gonorrhoea?

  • Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoea. This bacteria can spread from one person to another via vaginal, anal or oral sex even when the infected person has no symptoms.
  • They can also be passed from mother to baby during birth.

How would you know if a person has gonorrhoea?

For girls :

  • Girls may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms that are not noticeable until the disease becomes more severe.
  • They may present with burning sensation during passing urine or yellow-green vaginal discharge.
  • There might even be bleeding in between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).

If the infection spreads, it may cause Pelvic inflammatory disease.

For boys :

Pass discharge from penis

  • Boys are more likely to notice symptoms.
  • They often have a burning sensation when passing urine or a yellowish discharge oozing out of urethra.
  • Symptoms may occur 2 to 7 days after exposure and in girls, it may even appear later.

Are there any serious complications?

  • Gonorrhoea can be very dangerous if left untreated.
  • In girls, it can cause Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • In boys, it can spread to the epididymis and cause pain and swelling in the testis.
  • It can also create scar tissues leading to infertility.
  • Increase risk of HIV infection

Can gonorrhoea be treated?

  • It certainly can.
  • If you or your partner has gonorrhoea, see a doctor.
  • The doctor will take a swab from the discharge and analyze it.
  • Your doctor can prescribe some antibiotics to treat the infection for both you and your partner.
  • Taking this antibiotic can cure you but it won’t make you immune to gonorrhoea.
  • You can always get reinfected if you are exposed again.

Can gonorrhoea be prevented?


The best way is to avoid sex.

  • If you are below 16 years old, having sex is illegal unless you are married.
    • The Malaysian law states that consensual sex with girls below 16 years old will lead to the male being charged with statutory rape.
  • However gonorrhoea transmission can be prevented by :
    • If you are sexually active, practice safe sex.
      • Be loyal to one partner. Avoid multiple partners.
      • Use condoms. However condoms are not 100% effective in preventing gonorrhoea but are able to reduce the risk of transmission.
      • Avoid taking alcohol or drugs that can impair your judgement.
Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur a/p Basant Singh
Reviewer : Dr. Nazhatussima bt. Suhaili