With more cases of antibiotic-resistant “super gonorrhoea” found in the UK, people in Britain have been warned to be wary and protect themselves.
This new strain of the sexually transmitted infection is resistant to ceftriaxone, which is the main drug used to treat the infection in the UK.
And Dr Sameer Sanghvi, Clinical Technology Lead at Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor has given some tips on how to stay safe.
He said: “Finding this strain of gonorrhoea in the UK is a strong reminder of the importance of keeping on top of your sexual health.
“Gonorrhoea is unpleasant at the best of times and if left untreated, can lead to long term effects on your health, such as infertility.
“Ceftriaxone resistance is fairly common in the Asia and Pacific regions, but you rarely encounter it within the UK. The public should be conscious of protecting themselves against it by taking the necessary precautions when having sex with new partners.”
Three cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria which causes gonorrhoea, were confirmed in a woman in her 20s in London and a heterosexual couple in the 20s in the Midlands in February.
These cases are in addition to a case announced in December 2021, which involved a man in his early 20s who acquired the infection in London during November
How to protect yourself from antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea
It is important that people do not neglect sexual health, especially those with new or casual partners. To minimize the risk of catching gonorrhoea and other STIs, the following is suggested
- Always be prepared for sex and carry barrier contraceptives (such as condoms) with you just in case
- Consistently use condoms, even during foreplay
- Arrange regular STI tests, especially when you have new sexual partners
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
STI symptoms vary with different infections. But the typical symptoms of gonorrhoea include:
- A thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis
- Pain when urinating
- Pain and discomfort in the rectum
- Lower abdominal pain and bleeding between periods for women
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you should arrange an STI test at your local sexual health clinic or GP surgery. It is worth noting that many people with gonorrhoea are asymptomatic, especially those with infections in the throat, vagina or rectum.
It is important to treat gonorrhoea and other STIs as soon as possible. If left untreated, they can lead to serious long-term health problems and can even result in infertility in some cases.
Where can I get an STI test?
If you are experiencing any STI symptoms, you should arrange a test at a local GP surgery or sexual health clinic.
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, you can get an STI test from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. The tests arrive in discreet packaging and results can be delivered within three working days.