What are the Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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The symptoms of gonorrhea in men include painful urination, a distinctive discharge from the penis, and discomfort in the testes. Men can also develop rectal gonorrhea, an infection located around the anus, and this may cause slightly different symptoms, including constipation and a discharge from the anus. The consequences of untreated gonorrhea can be very serious, and it is important to receive a clinical evaluation when symptoms are noticed, and to receive regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections, because it is possible to have conditions like gonorrhea without symptoms.

In men, it usually takes around two to seven days for gonorrhea to incubate, but it can take as long as a month. The early symptoms of gonorrhea in men are centered around painful urination and greenish to white discharges of pus from the penis. If the condition remains untreated, the testes can start to become inflamed and may be painful, tender, and swollen. In men with rectal gonorrhea, there may be no symptoms around the genitals at first, with men experiencing constipation, discharges of pus from the anus, and sometimes rectal bleeding.


As many as 15% of cases result in no symptoms of gonorrhea in men. These men will carry the disease and be infectious, but may not be aware of the fact that they are infected. Men who are sexually active should get regular screening so they can be treated if they develop infections, and they should notify prior partners if an infection is diagnosed so those partners can be screened and seek treatment as well. If notified by a prior partner about a positive test result, people should discuss screening and treatment options with their doctors.

Men with the hallmark green to white discharge associated with gonorrhea can be quickly screened and tested and provided with treatment. Gonorrhea is very treatable and it is possible to completely cure the condition. When caught early, men should not experience additional complications. If the symptoms of gonorrhea in men are ignored, the gonorrhea can potentially spread, leading to problems like liver inflammation, joint problems, and damage to the brain.

Learning to recognize the symptoms of gonorrhea in men, along with signs of other sexually transmitted infections, is recommended for people who are sexually active, even if they have limited numbers of partners and practice safer sex. Safer sex practices reduce the risk of contracting an infection but do not eliminate that risk entirely. Remaining alert to early signs will allow people to get treated quickly.


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Post 3

Most men don't realize that there is also something called gonorrhea of the throat. The gonorrhea bacteria can cause an infection in the throat as a result of oral sex.

I teach a sex education class and I teach the importance of protection even during oral sex. Condoms protect from all versions of gonorrhea, so safe sex is important.

I also tell my students that if they ever suspect an STD or are diagnosed with an STD, they have to tell all of their partners. Men are lucky because symptoms of gonorrhea tend to be very apparent in men. But that's not the case with women, women have less symptoms and the symptoms are milder so it's difficult for them to get diagnosed on time.

Post 2

@MikeMason-- It could be if you had exposure (anal sex). I don't think regular gonorrhea could travel to the rectum, so if you didn't have exposure in that area, it's probably not gonorrhea.

But I'm not a doctor, so the best way to know is to get tested. No one can diagnose you over the internet. I urge you to see a doctor soon because if it is gonorrhea, delaying treatment is not good.

Post 1

I have anal discharge but no discharge from the penis. Could this be gonorrhea?

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