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  • The number of people diagnosed with gonorrhoea in Australia is rising at an alarming rate
  • There has been a drastic rise in treatment-resistant gonorrhoea in Australia
  • STIs can affect male and female fertility and the chance of having a baby
  • Condom use and regular sexual health checks are the best ways to prevent STIs
  • Early detection and treatment of STIs is the best way to protect fertility

The number of people in Australia being diagnosed with gonorrhoea is rising at an alarming rate, according to a recent report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) issued by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Also concerning is news of a drastic increase in treatment-resistant gonorrhoea, according to a report from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. While gonorrhoea usually can be easily treated, ‘super-bug’ gonorrhoea doesn’t respond to the antibiotic that is normally used and the infection can therefore be difficult to manage.

If they are not treated, STIs can harm the reproductive organs and the chances of having a baby. In women, STIs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage the fallopian tubes. In men, STIs can affect sperm quality and function and cause inflammation in the urethra, prostate and epididymis (the part of the testicle where sperm is stored).

The most effective way for people protect themselves from STIs, including gonorrhoea, is by using condoms and having regular sexual health checks.  Early detection and treatment of STIs is the best way of safeguarding the chances of becoming a parent in the future.


Kirby Institute. HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2017. Sydney: Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney; 2017.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). AURA 2017: second Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2017.

STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections Fertility Preconception Pregnancy