Although the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease and Control) reported a decrease in gonorrhea rates for 2009, the disease continues to impact at-risk individuals throughout the country. CDC estimates point to approximately 700,000 new gonorrhea infections each year, many of which occur in sexually active males aged 14 to 29 in particular. While recognizing male gonorrhea symptoms is an essential component of maintaining sexual health, it’s important to note that male gonorrhea symptoms do not always noticeably manifest following infection. For this reason, routine STD testing is critical, even in the absence of gonorrhea symptoms.
Common Male Gonorrhea Symptoms
Gonorrhea in men is transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. In some cases, male gonorrhea symptoms will appear between 2 and 30 days following infection. For others, however, symptoms of gonorrhea can remain hidden for months or even years. The most prevalent male gonorrhea symptoms are the following:
- Thick penile discharge, usually white, yellow, or green in color
- Burning sensation during urination
- Testicular pain
It’s important to note that male gonorrhea symptoms can vary in severity and nature. For some, symptoms of gonorrhea are barely noticeable. For others, male gonorrhea symptoms can be extremely disruptive to daily life. The presence or suspicion of male gonorrhea symptoms should prompt immediate testing so that treatment can be rendered as appropriate.
Unlike some STDs that cannot currently be cured, antibiotics can alleviate male gonorrhea symptoms and eliminate infection from the body completely over the course of a 7 to 10 day period. Left untreated, however, gonorrhea can produce serious long-term consequences in men, including epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicular ducts that can cause infertility. That is why regular testing is important. There are at home test kits STDs as well so people can get tested at home. In rare cases, gonorrhea infection can spread to the blood or joints and become life-threatening. Additionally, men with gonorrhea are more likely to contract other dangerous STDs such as HIV.