Gonorrhoea, or sometimes known colloquially as ‘the clap’, is one of the most common STIs guys who have sex with guys can get. Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI that can infect the urethra (penis or front hole), arse, throat or even your eyes!
Symptoms can take up to two weeks before they become noticeable, though it’s important to note that getting an STI doesn’t always mean that you’ll have symptoms. Instead you could have what is known as an asymptomatic infection.
Because of this, waiting to have symptoms isn’t a reliable way of telling whether you have an STI, so getting tested every three months for HIV and STIs is a must for any guy who is sexually active.
In men, symptoms of gonorrhoea can include:
1. Swelling or pain in or near your balls
Swelling, pain or tenderness in or near your balls could be signalling an STI like gonorrhoea.
2. Itchiness and pain during bowel movements
Experiencing uncomfortable or painful bowel movements, along with itchiness around the rectum could mean you have a gonorrhoea infection.
3. Discharge or bleeding from the arse
A pus-like discharge coming from your rectum, or bleeding from your arse are possible indications of a bacterial STI like gonorrhoea.
4. Pain or discharge from your eyes
Experiencing pain or discharge from either of your eyes can be an indication of gonorrhoea. As gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection, it can be easily spread to other body parts, such as your eyes, through touch or rubbing after contact.
5. Unusual discharge from the urethra (penis or front hole)
Any unusual discharge from the urethra, particularly anything that looks like pus, may be a sign of gonorrhoea.
6. Pain or burning when pissing
Painful urination or burning when pissing is a common symptom and may be an indication that you have contracted gonorrhoea.
7. Swelling or redness near the tip of your penis
A sensation of swelling or uncharacteristic redness near the tip of your penis is a symptom of gonorrhoea.
How often should I get checked for gonorrhoea?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, book an appointment at a sexual health clinic or with a doctor. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but by taking the initiative to speak to a health professional means you are keeping yourself healthy and being considerate of the guys you hook-up with.
If you’re not experiencing symptoms, but it’s been a while since your last test, it’s probably time you did. If you are located in Sydney, you can book a test at a[TEST]. If you’re not in Sydney, you can find a location to get an HIV test and STI check-up using our ‘where to get tested’ tool here or call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 and ask for a place to test near you.