Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect both men and women. However, its symptoms can differ between the two sexes. In this article, we will focus on understanding and recognizing gonorrhea symptoms in men, as it is important to not miss the red flags of this infection.
Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, and it can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. Symptoms of gonorrhea in men usually appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure, although some men may not experience any symptoms at all. This is why it is crucial to get tested regularly, especially if you engage in high-risk sexual activities.
The most common symptoms of gonorrhea in men include:
1. Unusual penile discharge: One of the hallmark symptoms of gonorrhea in men is an unusual discharge from the penis. The discharge is typically thick, cloudy, and may vary in color, ranging from white to green or yellow. It may also be accompanied by a foul odor.
2. Pain or burning during urination: Men with gonorrhea often experience pain or a burning sensation when urinating. This discomfort is caused by the inflammation of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis.
3. Swollen or painful testicles: In some cases, gonorrhea can cause inflammation in the testicles, leading to swelling and tenderness. This can also result in discomfort during sexual activity.
4. Rectal symptoms: Men who engage in receptive anal sex may experience symptoms of gonorrhea in the rectum, such as anal discharge, itching, soreness, or bleeding. These symptoms may also be present in men who engage in anal play without penetration.
5. Sore throat: Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex, leading to symptoms of a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. These symptoms may be accompanied by difficulty swallowing or a persistent cough.
It is important to note that gonorrhea can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the eyes, joints, or blood. If left untreated, gonorrhea can result in serious health complications, including infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and an increased risk of contracting HIV.
If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms or suspect that you may have been exposed to gonorrhea, it is crucial to seek medical attention and get tested for the infection. Gonorrhea can be diagnosed through urine, swab, or blood tests, and it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
In conclusion, recognizing the symptoms of gonorrhea in men is essential for early detection and treatment of the infection. By being aware of the red flags and seeking medical care promptly, men can prevent the spread of gonorrhea and protect their overall health and well-being. Remember, practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly are important steps in preventing and managing gonorrhea.