Available Tests and Treatment for Men with Gonorrhea

The Necessary Steps for Eradicating This STI

Man with plasters over crotch
Getty Images/Peter Dazeley

If you are sexually active and engage in unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, you are at risk for gonorrhea.

Unfortunately, you may not experience any symptoms that would alert you the presence of this particular sexually transmitted infection (STI), though some men do experience a burning sensation when urinating, unusual discharge from the penis, or painful/swollen testicles. Fortunately, if you take the initiative to visit your doctor regularly and request testing for the most common STIs, you won't have to go untreated for long.

How To Test for Gonorrhea

There are several tests your doctor can use confirm a diagnosis of gonorrhea. None of these tests are painful. At their worst, they may be just slightly uncomfortable.

One way to test for gonorrhea is with a urine sample. After providing a sample for urinalysis, your doctor can then conduct a genital examination.

Your doctor can also use a swab to collect a sample of any bacteria from the urethra, (the tube where your urine exits). If you have engaged in oral or anal sex, a throat and/or a rectal swab will also be necessary. These samples will then be examined under a microscope in order to detect any sign of the gonorrhea bacterium.

How to Treat Gonorrhea

The treatment for gonorrhea is simple. There are a number of antibiotics available to both adolescents and adults that can successfully eliminate the gonorrhea bacterium.

Unfortunately, new drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea have been popping up in other countries so, if you find that your symptoms persist after a few days of treatment, you should follow up with your doctor.

If you do have a drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea, treatment can be more difficult and expensive. But there is new research being conducted in order to develop more effective methods of treatment.

Either way, you will need to return to your doctor for a second test following treatment in order to confirm that the gonorrhea infection has gone.

What Happens If You Do Not Get Gonorrhea Treated?

If your gonorrhea goes untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the prostate gland, in addition to pain and inflammation of the testicles.

And if your female partners are not also tested and treated, the outcome is potentially much more serious. Untreated gonorrhea can block fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry the egg from the ovaries to the womb), which can result in reduced fertility or infertility. Untreated gonorrhea can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy, or long-term pelvic pain and discomfort.

For both men and women, untreated gonorrhea can cause permanent damage that cannot be repaired.

Important Information About Resuming Your Sex Life

You should refrain from unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex until your treatment has been completed and the infection has cleared up.

Remember also to practice safe sex with anyone whose sexual history you do not know.

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