STI facts

STI cases are on the rise in Perth, particularly gonorrhoea which can lead to infertility in men and women.

You could be at risk if you've ever had sex without a condom.

Take a free online STI test

Gonorrhoea rates are on the rise in young people in Perth!

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which is sometimes called 'the clap'. There has recently been an alarming increase in gonorrhoea cases in Perth especially in the 20-39 year old age group. Cases in the Perth area have more than tripled in the last five years, and increased by 53% in the past 12 months. The biggest increases in cases have been in heterosexual women (74%) and men (53%) as well as men who have sex with men (23%).

Like many STIs, people who have gonorrhoea will often not have any symptoms at all which means it can easily be passed on to other people without knowing. Symptoms of gonorrhoea may include pain when urinating, discharge from the vagina or penis, lower belly pain and more. If gonorrhoea is left untreated it can cause infertility in males and females and a pregnant woman can also pass it to her baby, causing serious problems such as blindness.

You can get gonorrhoea if you have unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex, that is, sex without a condom or dam. If this has happened, it is recommended that you have an STI test which will also test for gonorrhoea. See below for information on how to take a free test.

If the test is positive for gonorrhoea or another STI, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Your doctor will ask you about other people you may have had unprotected sex with because they could also have gonorrhoea. This is called contact tracing.

You can protect yourself and stop the spread of gonorrhoea by always using condoms or dams and water-based lubricant, limiting your sex partners and getting regular STI tests.

  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is the most common STI reported among young people in Australia. Most people don’t realise they have chlamydia because they don’t see or feel that anything is wrong. Without knowing it, people can pass it on to their sex partners.

    For those who get symptoms, females may notice a burning sensation when passing urine, an unusual vaginal discharge and pain in the lower belly. They might not notice anything until they try to get pregnant and then realise they are infertile because of scarring in the fallopian tubes caused by chlamydia.

    Males may notice whitish or yellow discharge from the penis, burning or pain when passing urine and irritation or soreness around the opening of the penis. If chlamydia is left untreated it can spread to the testes and cause infertility.

    A pregnant woman can also pass chlamydia on to her baby, causing serious eye and lung infections.

  • Take a free test

    If you think you may be at risk of an STI take the online risk self-assessment

  • Other STIs

    More information on other STIs, such herpes and genital warts can be found on Healthy WA

Should I get tested?

For more information on safe sex and respectful relationships, visit Get the Facts (external site).