Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Transmission, symptoms and screening for gonorrhea

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea (also known as the clap) is a STBBI (sexually transmitted infection) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacterial infection is on the rise in Canada and is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Gonorrhea is more often asymptomatic in women compared to men and can be transmitted without the individual being aware that he is infected. An individual can be infected more than once by the bacteria.

How is gonorrhea transmitted?

Gonorrhea is transmitted during unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral or anal with or without penetration) with an infected person. The infection can also be transmitted by sharing sexual toys. Gonorrhea can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during delivery.

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

Most people who are infected do not experience any symptoms. Symptoms usually appear between 2 and 7 days after exposure to the bacterium.

In women, symptoms can include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • A vaginal discharge (thick and yellowish) or abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • An anal discharge or itching
  • Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain

In men, symptoms can include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Itching or discharge from the penis or anus (thick and greenish-yellow)
  • Testicular pain and swelling
  • A sore throat or swelling of the throat

How to get tested?

Any individual having unprotected sex practices is at risk of being infected by gonorrhea and should consult a health specialist for counselling and screening. Gonorrhea is diagnosed most of the time by identifying the bacteria on urine samples. Vaginal, cervix, urethral and anal swabs can also be analysed. Many different identification techniques are available but the most widely used is by looking for the bacterial DNA after amplification (PCR).

Need more information?
For more information, do not hesitate to contact Biron’s customer service at 1 833 590-2712.

Get the service best suited to your needs for STI screening