Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria that grow and multiply in the reproductive tracts of both men and women, as well as the mouth, throat, eyes and anus. About 700,000 people in the US alone are infected with gonorrhea every year.
Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all, but some men have signs or symptoms that appear one to fourteen days after infection. Symptoms and signs include a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles.
If it’s not treated, gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that may lead to infertility. Gonorrhea can also spread to the blood or joints, which can be life threatening.
Antibiotics can successfully cure gonorrhea in adolescents and adults. However, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing in many areas of the world, including the United States, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult.
Aside from abstaining from sex, the routine use of latex condoms is the best way to reduce your risk of getting gonorrhea.