Gonorrhoea is a common venereal disease in Hong Kong. It is caused by the bacteria gonococcus acquired through sexual intercourse.
The incubation period is usually 2-3 days after exposure.
In males the symptoms are usually obvious with purulent urethral discharge, frequent and painful urination.
In females the symptoms are usually not obvious or minimal, although a minority may have purulent vaginal discharge, frequent and painful urination.
If left untreated, the gonococci will spread to other parts of the genital system. In men, it may lead to urethral narrowing and consequently difficulty in passing urine, prostatitis and epididymo-orchitis. In women, it may result to bartholinitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and sterility. In addition it may cause eye infection and arthritis.
In pregnant women with gonorrhea, the infection may spread to the baby’s eyes at birth leading to blindness.
It is important to seek medical advice early if you suspect you have gonorrhoea. Due to recent emergence of drug resistant stains of gonococci, it is inadvisable to self-medication without medical advice. The Social Hygiene Clinic of Department of Health offers check up, treatment and counseling. A referral is not required, and all information are kept confidential.
You should follow medical advice on treatment. Your sexual partner should also receive check up and treatment at the same time, so as to avoid repeated cross transmission.
Apart from appropriate drug treatment, follow up as advised by doctor to ensure complete recovery is essential. Refrain from sexual activity before full treatment and documented recovery from gonorrhoea. Pregnant women diagnosed with gonorrhea need not be frightened, as early treatment may reduce the risk to both mother and child.
The most effective way of preventing sexually transmitted infections is to have safer sex and maintain a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner and avoid casual sex. If this is impossible, condom should be properly used during each sexual contact to reduce the chance of infection.
Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (Male) or Non-Specific Genital infection (Female)
These are the most common sexually transmitted infection in Hong Kong. Although the symptoms are often milder than gonorrhoea, the complications are the same.
As the infection may be caused by a variety of different microbes (most commonly Chlamydia), it is important to follow the doctor’s advice on treatment. All your sexual partners should also receive check up and treatment promptly.
For more health information, please call:
AIDS HOTLINE : 2780 2211
DR. SEX HOTLINE : 2337 2121
DH 24-hour Health Education Hotline : 2833 0111
Centre for Health Protection web site
DH Central Health Education Unit web site