Gonorrhea cases rise by more than a fifth from pre-pandemic levels | UK News
The number of gonorrhea cases in the UK has risen by more than a fifth from pre-pandemic levels.
Provisional data released shows that diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from January to September 2022 were higher than the same nine-month period in each of the past three years.
In the first nine months of last year, 56,327 cases of gonorrhea were diagnosed, compared to 46,541 cases from January to September 2019.
People between the ages of 15 and 24 are the most likely to be diagnosed with an STI because they change sexual partners more often than other age groups.
Although STIs are generally easily treated with antibiotics, some can cause serious health problems, including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) has urged people to wear a condom and get tested regularly if they have sex with new or casual partners.
Typical symptoms of gonorrhea include a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when urinating, pain and discomfort in the rectum, and lower abdominal pain and bleeding between periods in those who have a uterus or ovaries.
But often people infected with gonorrhea have no symptoms.
Dr Katy Sinka, consultant epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: “Condoms are not only used to prevent unwanted pregnancies; they are the main defense against STIs.
“If you’ve had sex without a condom with a new or casual partner, it’s even more important to get tested to catch any potential infection early and avoid passing it on to others.
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Dr Claire Dewsnap, chair of the UK Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said: “The rise in cases of gonorrhea reminds us of the importance of testing for STIs and wearing a condom every time you have sex.
“By getting tested at least once a year, whether or not you have symptoms, you can help minimize the risk of catching or transmitting STIs through sex.
“Delaying access to the right care and treatment also risks developing longer-term problems that may be more difficult to resolve.”