Gonorrhea is a communicable sexually transmitted disease (STD) of humans caused by bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea. It can take 2-10 days for signs and symptoms of disease to appear after sexual intercourse with an infected person. It may take up to 4 weeks for symptoms to appear after exposure. This condition is more common in homosexuals than heterosexuals and usually involves teenagers.
About 10 percent of males are asymptomatic after exposure. Other 90 percent males show characteristic clinical features after exposure to infection. Rectum, urethra and anus are commonly involved in this infection. If left untreated for long time, gonorrhea infection can spread to other structures and may enter blood stream.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
Sexual intercourse with an infected partner can lead to gonorrheal infection. Common signs and symptoms of this STD are burning sensation and soreness during urination and inflamed testicles. These symptoms signify possible urethral infection. Yellow-green discharge which is thick in consistency may also occur from penis tip. Examination of penis may show redness and oedema. Patient may also experience some discomfort and pain in penis. Inflammation of groin glands is also seen in some patients.
Gonorrheal infection can also spread through anal or oral sex. Clinical features of gonorrheal anal infection are pain and itching sensation in that area, discharge from anus and severe pain during defecation. Oral sex with an infected partner can cause gonorrheal infection of mouth. Primary symptom of oral gonococcus infection is sore throat.
Purulent material on throat or tonsils may appear in some cases. Gonorrhea infection can also occur in eyes and cause redness and irritation in eyes. If you have any of these symptoms, then talk to a physician without any delay. Don’t have sexual intercourse till the time disease is cured.
Complications of Gonorrheal Infection in Males
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Complications are rare due to availability of potent antimicrobial therapy for gonorrhea. If gonococcal infection is left untreated for a long time, then it can become dangerous. Infection can extend to glands present near urethra and can cause urethral abscess or fistula or infection can spread to prostate and cause prostatitis.
Patients with no treatment are at higher risk for epididymitis. Epididymitis refers to inflammation of epididymis and is an excruciating painful condition. Inflammation of inguinal lymph nodes can also occur due to spread to gonorrheal infection. Arthritis and bacteraemia are other system complications of gonococcal infection.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Gonorrhea
Confirmed diagnosis can be made by direct isolation of causative bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhea in specimen obtained from the urethra or vagina. Culture of organisms on selective media and characteristic biochemical tests further help in confirmation of disease. ELISA test is also a reliable method to reach a definite diagnosis. Serological tests are of not much help to diagnose gonorrheal infection.
For treatment of this sexually transmitted disease, a single dose of a suitable antibiotic is sufficient. Oral amoxicillin, ampicillin or cotrimoxazole can be prescribed to the patient. For penicillin resistant gonorrhea, ciprofloxacin or cefotaxime can be prescribed. In patients for gonorrhea with severe complications, aqueous crystalline penicillin is injected followed by oral antibiotics.
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