Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the
Gonorrhea is an infection caused by neisseria gonnorhea or gonococcus. In males, it usually starts in the urethra (a tube which connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body) and may spread to the prostate and epididymis. In females, the infection starts in the cervix and may spread to the uterus, Fallopian tubes and pelvis.
The main symptoms in men are urethral discharge, yellow and pus-like (purulent), often more obvious in the morning. However, in some cases, it may not be noticeable.
Other symptoms include dysuria or pain and burning while urinating. Sometimes, the infected person has to urinate more often than usual. A cloudy or bloodstained urine may also result. If pus collects in the urethra during the night, the first urine pass in the morning looks hazy or cloudy. The next urine pass becomes clear because the pus has been washed away.
Under specific circumstances, gonorrhea may also present with anal discharge or rectal pain. This is due to an infection of the anus and rectum following anal sex with an infected partner. Homosexual men are particularly at risk.
Sore throat may occur after oral sex with an infected partner, Some gonococcal throat infection may be asymptomatic (presenting no symptoms).
The main complication of gonorrhea in men is urethral stricture or narrowing of the urethra due to scarring. This happens after the inflammation of the urethra has persisted for some time. Another complication is epididymitis which presents as pain or tenderness of the scrotum, often on one side. There may be swelling and warmth. Unless it is treated, the testis may be destroyed causing infertility.
The association of prostatitis with gonorrhea is not clear. It is often caused by other bacterial infections. Prostatitis presents with pain in the penis or passing urine or on sexual intercourse. It presents as pain or discomfort in the perineum (between the scrotum and the anus) and/or the pelvis.
Men who suspect that they have gonorrhea should seek medical attention and not resort to self-medication which usually results to wrong or incomplete treatment. Self-medication leads to the development of drug-resistant bacteria causing an advanced stage of infection.