Protecting yourself and your sexual partner from gonorrhoea starts with an open and honest discussion about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is extremely common for people to have STIs without knowing it, as many do not have obvious or immediate symptoms. Therefore even if you are using another method of birth control it is important to protect yourself with a condom, this needs to be in place before any sexual activity occurs to protect you and your partner fully.
Types of protection
- Male condoms – Must be used properly and in place before any sexual contact
- Female condoms – Most effective when worn the whole time during vaginal or anal sex
- Dental dams – Square of latex or polyurethane that act as a barrier during oral sex
The best way to protect yourself and your sexual partners, as well as lower your risk of catching gonorrhoea and passing it on to others is to use a male or female condom when having vaginal, oral or anal sex. The condom will act as a barrier so that infected vaginal fluids or discharge from the penis cannot come into contact with your genital areas. For oral sex you can also use a dental dam which acts as a barrier between the mouth and vagina or anus.
It is also important that any sex toys are washed before and after use, and that a new condom is placed over them every time you use them. Although gonorrhoea cannot survive outside of the body for long, taking these precautions will help to protect you and your sexual partner.
How can I protect myself completely?
The only way to protect yourself completely from catching gonorrhoea or any other sexually transmitted infections or diseases is from abstaining from any sexual activity. Another way is to only have one sexual partner at a time, they need to be clear of any STIs and also be sexually monogamous to you. Also you may want avoid any sexual contact with someone who shows the sign of infection or may have been exposed. To find out more about the symptoms of gonorrhoea click here.
Getting regular tested for STIs and STDs is also a great way to protect yourself and your partners. By catching potential infections early it makes treatment easier, lessons your risk of complications as well as preventing you from passing them onto others. You can be tested for gonorrhoea within a few days of having sex even if you have no visible symptoms.
It is advisable that you get tested if:
- You or your partner show symptoms of gonorrhoea
- You have had unprotected sex with a new partner
- You have tested positive for another STI
- Your current or past sexual partner tells you they have an STI
- You’re pregnancy or planning to have a baby
How do you get gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a sexual infection that is contracted through unprotected anal, vaginal and oral sex. It is advised that you use male or female condoms every time you have sex, as well as not sharing sex toys unless they have been cleaned or covered with a new condom.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhoea?
Many people can have the gonorrhoea infection without having any symptoms; however both men and women can experience painful urination as well as a yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis or vagina.
Can I catch gonorrhoea more than once?
Yes. Even if you have had successful treatment for the infection before this does not make you immune, and therefore you can catch the infection again.