Gonorrhoea (also known as ‘the clap’) is the second most common sexually transmitted Infection (STI) in the UK after chlamydia. The infection is most common amongst those under the age of 25, although it can be contracted at any age if they are sexually active. Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria called Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and can be passed from one person to another through the sexual fluid produced by the penis and vagina. This means it’s possible for the infection to be transmitted without penetration or ejaculation. Gonorrhoea can be contracted in a variety of ways, including:
- Unprotected sex (this can be vaginal, anal or oral)
- Sharing sex toys that haven’t been washed between users
- Your genitals coming into contact with another person’s genitals
Gonorrhoea isn’t something that can be caught through casual contact, such as holding hands or kissing, nor can it be transmitted by sharing household items like, towels, baths or cutlery.
Gonorrhoea can infect the cervix, the urethra, the rectum, and also the throat and eyes in rare cases.