Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. While both men and women can contract gonorrhea, this article will focus specifically on the symptoms that men may experience.
Gonorrhea symptoms in men can vary from mild to severe, or may not even be present. However, it is important to note that even if there are no symptoms, the infection can still be transmitted. Regular testing is crucial to maintaining sexual health and preventing the spread of gonorrhea.
Mild symptoms of gonorrhea in men typically appear within 2 to 7 days after exposure to the bacteria. These mild symptoms can include:
1. Painful urination: Men with gonorrhea might experience a burning sensation or pain while urinating. This is often one of the first signs of infection.
2. Discharge from the penis: A white, yellow, or greenish discharge may be present from the urethra. The amount can vary, from hardly noticeable to quite significant.
3. Testicular pain: Some men may experience pain or swelling in the testicles. This is a less common symptom but can be an indication of a more severe infection.
As the infection progresses, symptoms can become more severe:
4. Rectal infection: If gonorrhea is contracted through anal sex, men may experience rectal pain, discharge, or itching. This can be an indication of a more severe infection and may require additional testing and treatment.
5. Sore throat: Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex, leading to a sore throat or swollen tonsils. This symptom is less common in men but should not be ignored.
In severe cases, gonorrhea can lead to complications that may require immediate medical attention. These complications can include:
6. Epididymitis: Inflammation of the epididymis, which is a tube that carries sperm. This can cause severe pain, swelling, and even infertility if left untreated.
7. Prostatitis: Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland, which can cause pain in the lower back, groin, or during ejaculation.
8. Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI): This occurs when the infection spreads through the bloodstream and can affect various parts of the body, including the joints, skin, and heart valves. Symptoms may include fever, rash, joint pain, and muscle aches.
It is important to remember that symptoms can vary from person to person. While some may experience mild symptoms that can easily go unnoticed, others may develop severe complications. Therefore, regular testing and safe sexual practices are crucial in preventing the spread of gonorrhea.
If you suspect you have gonorrhea or have engaged in unprotected sexual activities with an infected partner, it is important to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can perform tests to confirm the infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment, such as antibiotics.
In conclusion, gonorrhea symptoms in men can range from mild to severe and can vary from person to person. It is important to be aware of these symptoms, practice safe sex, and get regularly tested for STIs to maintain sexual health and prevent the spread of gonorrhea. Remember, early detection and treatment are key to preventing complications and achieving a full recovery.