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Men's Health Line - Gonorrhoea

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Introduction and Causes Symptoms and Effects
Prevention Treatment and Self-help

Introduction and Causes
Symptoms and Effects
Treatment and Self-help

What is gonorrhoea?

It is a common disease that is spread by having sex with an infected partner.

What causes it?

The bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes it.


According to the Department of Health statistics, in 2019, there were 1,370 cases of gonorrhoea in men, which was 7.4 times the number in women.


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What are the common symptoms?

In some cases, there are no symptoms. But many patients will have symptoms on the second to fifth day after sexual contact.

For men, common symptoms are:

  • Thick copious purulent milk-like or yellow-green urethral discharge
  • Burning feeling when passing water

For women, common symptoms are;

  • Yellowish smelly discharge from the vagina
  • Burning feeling when passing water
  • Pain during sex

Gonorrhoea may also infect the anal canal or oropharynx during anal and oral sex, and may present as mucopurulent anal discharge or sore throat respectively.

What are the complications?

If gonorrhoea is not adequately treated, it can spread and damage other organs.

Men may develop infection in the testicles and women may develop pelvic inflammatory disease, and lead to infertility.

In both men and women, untreated gonorrhoea can cause joint, skin and eye problems.

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How can I prevent it?

Practise safer sex behaviour can reduce the risk of infection:

  • Have sex with only one partner who is not infected and who is having sex only with you.
  • Use condom properly.

How do I find out if I have gonorrhoea?

You need to be examined by a doctor. Gonorrhoea can be diagnosed by a swab collected from the urethra, anus, throat, cervix (for women), or by urine sample. The person(s) you have had sex with must also be tested for the disease.


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What is the treatment?

Gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics. It is important to take all the prescribed tablets; otherwise infection may not be properly cured. Sexual partners who could have been infected should be treated at the same time. If not, you may be infected again.

Sexual intercourse should be avoided until you and your partner(s) have finished all the medication and been treated.

To ensure the infection has been cured, you have to return to your doctor or clinic for a follow-up.

How can I help myself?

Gonorrhoea is a serious disease that can affect your entire body. It must be thoroughly treated. Do not treat yourself; it may harm you and your sexual partner.

If you have any suspicions, you should seek medical advice.

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Related Articles
  Safer Sex

Department of Health (Social Hygiene Service)
Hotline : 2150 7370

Hotlines (recorded message or counseling)
Hong Kong Family Planning Association Service Hotline:
Phone:2572 2222

Red Ribbon Centre Phone: 3143 7200
(Dr. SEX Hotline : 2337 2121)

How to Use Condom Properly