The number of people being diagnosed with gonorrhoea in Taranaki has seen a significant increase. In 2016 there were 22 diagnosed cases; 2017 - 20 diagnosed cases; 2018 - 58 diagnosed cases, and up until the end of September 2019 there had been 74 diagnosed cases.

Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It affects the genitals (vagina, penis or testicles), the anus or the throat.

You can get gonorrhoea by having sexual contact with someone who has the infection. This includes having contact with their genital fluids or by having vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Gonorrhoea can also be passed from a mother to her baby during childbirth. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor or midwife.

Gonorrhoea is very easy to catch and also very easy to treat. Without treatment, gonorrhoea may cause serious health problems.

Signs and symptoms

Men are more likely to have symptoms and may have some or all of the following:

  • unusual discharge (fluid) from the penis
  • pain when peeing
  • sore or swollen testicles
  • discharge or bleeding from the anus.

Women often have no symptoms, but may experience some or all of the following:

  • unusual discharge (fluid) from the vagina
  • pain when peeing
  • bleeding between periods
  • tummy pain
  • discharge or bleeding from the anus.


Gonorrhoea is easy to treat. You will have an injection and take some tablets. The doctor or nurse will explain the treatment to you, and may also ask you to return for a check-up in a few months' time.

If your infection is more serious, you may need to keep taking the tablets for up to two weeks. Finish all the tablets, even if you feel better.

Use condoms or avoid having sex until seven days after finishing treatment so you don't pass the infection onto your sexual partner(s).

Important information about gonorrhoea in Taranaki

  • Gonorrhoea generally affects younger people and most cases in Taranaki are aged less than 35 years. However older people can also catch the disease and in recent years in Taranaki there have been a number of men and women aged over 60 years.
  • Anyone who's sexually active can catch gonorrhoea particularly people who change sexual partners or do not use a barrier method of contraception such as a condom when having sex.
  • There are likely to be more cases that we don’t know about as not everyone has symptoms. Around 1 in 10 infected men and almost half of infected women do not experience any symptoms.
  • The reasons for the upsurge in cases in Taranaki are not known. The number of people with gonorrhoea is increasing throughout New Zealand as well as other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis.
  • One simple way to protect yourself from gonorrhoea is by using a condom when having sex.
  • Gonorrhoea and syphilis are very easy to catch but also very easy to treat. It is a good idea to have regular sexual health check ups if you or your partner have other sexual partners, even if you have no symptoms.

Where to get tested?

Te Whatu Ora Taranaki Sexual Health Clinic
188 Powderham Street, New Plymouth
0508 SEX HEALTH (0508 739 432)
Monday: 6.00pm-8.00pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9.00am-12.00pm

Or see your doctor (free sexual health for under 25 years of age)

Where to find more information

For more information about gonorrhoea and other STIs please visit:


Last updated: Monday, February 26, 2024

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