Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection you can catch by having unprotected (not using a condom) vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected partner. You can catch Gonorrhea if you are a sexually active young adult, regardless of gender. Men, however, have a slightly lower risk of catching the Gonorrhea than women. In terms of percentage ratio, while women have a 50% risk of contracting Gonorrhea, the risk for men is at 20%.
Unfortunately, many men living with gonorrhea infection have absolutely no idea they are living with it because they experience no symptoms. In light of this, they pass it to their innocent partner or partners in whose body the symptoms eventually manifest.
The incubation time of Gonorrhea
The symptoms of gonorrhea typically showcase themselves within 2 to 5 days of contracting the disease but in some circumstances, it takes up to 30 days because, of course, the body system differs from one individual to another – even in identical twins.
Signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
Gonorrhea most often doesn’t have symptoms and most persons infected with Gonorrhea, just like other STDs, are unaware they have it and they run the risk of transmitting the infection to others. Even in its early stages, Gonorrhea is already transmittable. There is a high risk of catching the infection from someone who doesn’t know they have it.
If you’re a young adult aged 24 years old and younger and already has an active sexual life with multiple or even a single sex partner it is important that you get an STD check to make sure you don’t have Gonorrhea.
The following are the common signs of Gonorrhea in men:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning or painful sensation during urination
- Swelling of the testicles
- Lump on testicle
- Penis pain
- Pimple on the penis
- Jock itch (fungal infection)
- Anal itching, bleeding or discharge (symptoms of Gonorrhea infection through anal sex)
- Irregular penile discharge, which may be yellowish, clear, milky, or greenish in color
Gonorrhea in women and Gonorrhea in men have a few common signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea. Gonorrhea in men infection, like Gonorrhea in women, most of the times don’t also show symptoms.
Late-stage complications of Gonorrhea in men
An untreated Gonorrhea infection that lasts for an extended period, can cause inflammation of the genital tract (epididymitis) in men. Complications of epididymitis are scarring of the sperm ducts that will eventually lead to blockage of the passage of sperm through the duct to the penis. This can result in issues with men’s fertility. However, there are no known accounts of how common does Gonorrhea causes infertility in men.
Effects of Untreated Gonorrhea
When Gonorrhea is untreated in the human male, it can lead to infertility of the man and make him more easily susceptible to other sexually transmitted diseases. Although gonorrhea can be conveniently cured, it could lead to severe damages if left untreated.
STD checks available
Getting an STD check is easy, with the advances in technology, it is now easy for anybody to search for STD testing centers that handle STD consultations within the community they are living in.
In the US, with the urging of CDC to step up campaigns for the prevention of STD transmissions, health providers providing support for STD consultations are readily available in local communities. An STD check can also be done in the comfort and privacy of your homes because you can now conveniently order a home test kit online.
Gonorrhea can also be a co-infection of other STDs, especially Chlamydia. If you recently had engaged in unprotected sex you may also need to get tested for other STDs, specifically Chlamydia.
After getting a diagnosis from the results of your tests, make sure you and your partner subject yourselves to the treatment. The threat of re-infection is constant with Gonorrhea, even if you had just recently completed a full course of treatment. Wait for at least one week before engaging in sex again to make sure the infection is totally eliminated to prevent re-infection.
How to protect yourself from contracting Gonorrhea?
1. Use protection (condom) every time you have sex. Even if condoms are not 100% foolproof, it can provide highly efficient protection from most sexually transmitted infections, especially Gonorrhea since Gonorrhea bacteria are only transmitted through vaginal, anal or penile fluids. Ejaculation is not a prerequisite in the transmission of the bacteria.
2. Immediately get yourself tested even if you don’t feel or notice any visible symptoms. If you engage in unprotected sex, you have a higher than normal risk of contracting Gonorrhea. Always pay attention to schedule regular STD checkup. It’s the best way to find out early if you have an STI to avoid developing complications from the protracted infection period. Get your partner tested also, so your partner can also treat his/her infection.
3. When diagnosed positive of Gonorrhea or any STIs, get treatment immediately. Delaying your treatment will not make the infection go away on its own. According to National Health Services UK, you need antibiotics to clear the infection. Make sure your partner also gets his/her treatment and complete the full prescribed course. Wait for at least a week before having unprotected sex. After 7 days of completing treatment, a person who had Gonorrhea can still transmit the infection.