Treated Urethritis Due to Gonorrhea (Male)

You have urethritis. This is an inflammation in the urethra. The urethra is the tube between the bladder and the tip of the penis. Urine drains out of the body through the urethra.  Urethritis has both infectious and non-infectious causes. It is most often caused by gonorrhea, chlamydia, or both. The cause of your infection is gonorrhea. This is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD.

Women often do not have symptoms at the start of an infection, but men usually do. Symptoms usually start within 1 week after infection, but can take up to a month. Symptoms can include:

  • Burning or pain when urinating

  • Irritation in the penis

  • Pus discharge from the penis

  • Pain and possible swelling in one or both testicles

When the infection is also in other areas it can cause:

  • Rectal pain and discharge

  • Throat Infections

  • Eye infections (conjunctivitis)

If not treated, your infection can get worse. It can spread to other parts of your body. It can also cause rashes, arthritis, and infections in your joints, heart, and brain.

Gonorrhea needs to be treated with antibiotics. This is important, so it does not get worse and spread. Since it is contagious, you need treatment so you do not give it to someone else. If you give it to a woman, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility.

Since people can have gonorrhea without symptoms, your sexual partner(s) also need to be treated, even if they have no symptoms. If they are not treated, and you continue to have sex with them, you will be infected again. Your sexual partner(s) should contact their own healthcare providers or go to an urgent care clinic or the Public Health Department to be examined and treated.

Home care

These guidelines can help you care for yourself at home:

  • Take all of the antibiotics you were given until they are used up. It is important to finish the antibiotics, even if your symptoms are gone. This is to make sure the infection has cleared.

  • Do not have sex until both you and your partner(s) have finished all the antibiotics, and your healthcare provider says you are no longer contagious.

  • You can take over-the-counter medicine for pain, unless you were given a different pain medicine. If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding, or are taking blood thinner medicines, talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines.

  • Aspirin should never be used in anyone under 18 years of age who has a fever.

  • Learn about and use safe sex practices. The safest sex is with a partner who has tested negative and only has sex with you. Condoms can stop some STDs from spreading, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV, but are not a guarantee.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. If a culture test was taken, you may call for the results as advised. Another culture test should be done 4 to 6 weeks after treatment to be sure the infection is gone. Follow up with your healthcare provider or the public health department for a complete STD screening, including HIV testing. For more information about STDs, contact CDC-INFO at 800-232-4636.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • No improvement after 3 days of treatment

  • Unable to urinate

  • Rash or joint pain

  • Painful sores on the penis

  • Enlarged painful lymph nodes (lumps) in the groin

  • Testicle pain or swelling of the scrotum

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