Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. While both men and women can contract the infection, the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea can vary between the sexes. In this article, we will focus on the most prominent symptoms of gonorrhea in men.
1. Painful Urination: One of the earliest and most common symptoms of gonorrhea in men is a burning or painful sensation during urination, also known as dysuria. This discomfort occurs due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra caused by the infection.
2. Discharge from the Penis: Another significant symptom of gonorrhea in men is the presence of abnormal discharge from the penis. This discharge is usually white, yellow, or green in color and may have a thick or thin consistency. It can appear either throughout the day or specifically after urinating.
3. Testicular Pain and Swelling: Gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, which is the inflammation of the epididymis, a tube located at the back of the testicles. This can result in testicular pain, tenderness, and swelling. Prompt medical attention is required if these symptoms are experienced, as untreated epididymitis can lead to infertility.
4. Pain and Burning in the Rectum: If gonorrhea spreads from the penis to the rectum, it can cause proctitis, an inflammation of the rectum. Men engaging in anal intercourse without using protection are more susceptible to rectal infection. Symptoms may include pain, itching, and a burning sensation in the rectal area, as well as abnormal discharge or bleeding from the anus.
5. Sore Throat: Engaging in oral sexual activity with an infected partner can transmit the gonorrhea bacteria to the throat. While most cases of gonorrhea in the throat may not display symptoms, it can cause a sore throat in some individuals. This symptom is often mistaken for a common cold or a mild respiratory infection.
6. Unusual Symptoms: In some cases, gonorrhea can present with less common symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes in the groin area, joint pain, and a general feeling of fatigue. If any of these symptoms occur along with other typical symptoms of gonorrhea, it is crucial to seek medical attention.
It’s important to note that some individuals infected with gonorrhea may not experience any noticeable symptoms at all. This increases the risk of unknowingly spreading the infection to sexual partners. Regular testing for STIs, including gonorrhea, is essential for sexually active individuals.
If you suspect you may have contracted gonorrhea or any other STI, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. Gonorrhea can be easily treated and cured with appropriate antibiotics. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary to reduce the risk of complications and prevent the spread of the infection to others.
To protect yourself and your sexual partners, practicing safe sex by using condoms consistently and correctly, abstaining from sexual activity during treatment, and getting regular STI check-ups are the best approaches to prevent the transmission of gonorrhea and other STIs.