What is gonorrhoea?

You may have heard gonorrhoea referred to as ‘the clap’. It is caused by a bacteria called neisseria gonorrheoae or gonococcus.

The bacteria is found mainly in the semen of infected men and vaginal fluids of infected women, so is easily passed between people through sexual contact.

Gonorrhoea is most commonly spread through:

  • Unprotected sex including oral and anal sex.
  • Sharing vibrators or other sex aids that have not been washed or covered with a new condom

Gonorrhoea is the second most common STI in the UK after chlamydia with over 19,000 cases reported in 2006. Young men aged 20-24 and women aged 16-19 are most affected.

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