Why we gave you this condom.
We have seen a rise in the number of gonorrhoea infections for more than a year now. Gonorrhoea is an STI caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In particular, we have noticed an increase among young people aged 18–25. This is our way of calling attention to STIs and safe sex.
Give love, not an STI.
You can prevent getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or transmitting it to others by practising safe sex. Remember that STIs do not always cause symptoms (or not immediately), so you may have an STI without noticing it. If an STI is not treated in time, the consequences may be serious. Gonorrhoea, for example, can make you infertile.
How can you tell that you have gonorrhoea?
In men, the bacteria can infect the urethra (‘the clap’), rectum, throat and epididymides. If an infected man is not treated, his epididymides or prostate may become inflamed. In women, the bacteria can infect the urethra, cervix, fallopian tubes, throat and rectum. If an infected woman is not treated, her pelvis may become inflamed. This may then lead to an ectopic pregnancy. Gonorrhoea can also make you less fertile.
Not everyone with gonorrhoea has symptoms. Women often have no symptoms at all, with up to 70% not noticing (or not noticing immediately) that they have gonorrhoea. Men usually do notice gonorrhoea, with around 90% having symptoms. Moreover, people almost always have symptoms only when their genitals are infected. Only 10% of people notice a gonorrhoea infection in their throat or anus.
I want to avoid gonorrhoea. What can I do?
Easy: always use a condom when having sex. This reduces the risk of getting gonorrhoea or transmitting it to a sexual partner. A condom also protects you against other STIs. If you have symptoms, contact your GP, your Sexual Health Centre or your Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) as soon as possible. You can also get a self-sampling test kit from one of many suppliers online.