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SEX DOCTOR: ISSUE OF THE WEEK ..GONORRHOEA.

Byline: Dr Catherine Hood

GONORRHOEA is probably one of the better-known sexuallytransmitted diseases.

It's no surprise as it's the second most common bacterial STD in Britain with more than 22,000 people catching it each year.

Sometimes you don't know it's there, but at other times the symptoms are so dramatic they are hard to ignore.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

GONORRHOEA or the clap, to use its nickname, is caught through vagina, anal or oral sex.

Eighty per cent of men will get a discharge from the penis. This can be slight or very dramatic, driving even the most reluctant man to seek help. Other symptoms include pain passing urine or sore testicles.

Worryingly, 50 per cent of women with gonorrhoea will not be aware they have the infection. They should watch out for increased discharge, pain having sex and abdominal cramps.

CAN I BE TESTED?

TESTING for gonorrhoea is simple. A man may need a swab taken from the penis, and a woman will have an examination very similar to a smear test.

If that puts you off testing, then there's good news as simple urine tests are now available too. If you have oral sex regularly, you may also need a throat swab.

CAN IT BE TREATED?

GONORRHOEA can be treated with antibiotics that you can get from your GP. But the bacteria is becoming resistant to certain antibiotics so it's important to go back to your doctor for follow-up tests in case your first course of treatment isn't working.

Gonorrhoea is a problem that's shared. Make sure all your recent sexual contacts are treated.

WHAT IF I IGNORE THE SYMPTOMS ?

UNTREATED, gonorrhoea can cause long-term health problems, including testicular and pelvic pain and infertility. For more information take a look at www.fpa.org.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2007
Words:298
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