Female sex workers

Gonorrhea

What is gonorrhea?

  • The gonorrhea bacteria can be found in the mucous membrane of the penis (urethra), vagina, anus or throat.  
  • Gonorrhea is also called the “clap”.

What causes gonorrhea?

  • If you have unsafe sex, the bacteria can be transmitted to others.  For instance, if the infected mucous membrane comes into contact with the mucous membrane of the penis, vagina, anus or throat.  
  • Oral sex (contact between penis and mouth) can cause an infection of the throat, and anal sex (contact between penis and anus) can cause an infection of the anus.

What are the complaints?

  • Women usually have no complaints.  
  • If you do have complaints, they arise at the place where you are infected.  
  • Even if the infection does not cause any complaints, you can still transmit the infection to others!
  • If you have complaints, they can be compared to the complaints in case of an infection of the bladder, such as pain or a burning feeling when urinating, or pain in the abdomen.  
  • You can also have an increased or changed vaginal discharge (sometimes yellowish green), painful sexual intercourse, loss of blood after intercourse or between periods. 
  • In case of an infection in the anus you may have some itching or a slimy discharge.  
  • In case of an infection in your throat you can have a sore throat and a bad taste in your mouth and bad breath.
  • A gonorrhea infection can spread to the ovaries and abdomen.  It may cause infertility and you are more at risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
  • In general, men with a gonorrhea infection do have complaints.  There is a green/yellowish discharge from the penis.  Therefore, this infection is sometimes called the “clap”.

How can the infection be diagnosed?

  • Gonorrhea can be diagnosed with a urine test or by taking some discharge from the vagina, anus or throat with a cotton swab.
  • A gonorrhea test is only accurate two weeks after the possible infection, because the bacteria can only be found after this period.  If there are obvious complaints, the infection can sometimes be diagnosed earlier.

Treatment

  • As long as you are not treated, you can infect others
  • Treatment is necessary to prevent the bacteria from spreading in your body

Warning partners

  • Because gonorrhea is transmitted by sexual contact, you must inform the partners you had sex with (without condom) in the past six months. 
  • It is best if your sex partners also get a test, even if they don’t have complaints. 
  • In case of an infection, they will also have to be treated.
  • This is important to prevent you from getting infected again and to prevent your sex partners from infecting others.
  • This can be done by your family doctor or at an STI center in your neighbourhood or an STI clinic.

Work advice

  • As long as the infection is not treated, you can infect others!! 
  • Up to approximately one week after the treatment, you can infect others.  
  • It is recommended not to have sexual contacts during the week of the treatment.  It gives the mucous membranes time to heal.
  • In case of a vaginal or anal infection, no vaginal or anal sex.
  • In case of an infection in your throat, it is better not to give a blowjob.  
  • During the treatment it is safe to give a hand job.  
  • A week after the treatment you can start working again.
  • After the treatment the gonorrhea infection is gone.  Contact your doctor if the complaints continue or come back after the treatment. You may still have another STI. 
  • If you have a steady partner, keep having safe sex until you and your partner have been treated and, if applicable, until it appears from further tests that there are no other STIs.

 

The leaflet

Bacterial infections