How It Is Done
In a direct smear, a sample of body fluid is taken from the area where gonorrhea is suspected. In adults, this may include the urethra, the cervix, the rectum, or the eye.
- For a sample from the cervix, you will take off your clothes below the waist and drape a paper or cloth covering around your waist. You will then lie on your back on an exam table with your feet raised and supported by stirrups. This allows the doctor or nurse to examine your vagina and genital area. Your doctor or nurse will insert a special tool with curved sides (speculum ) into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls so the inside of the vagina and the cervix can be examined. Samples are collected from the cervix with a swab or small brush.
- For a sample from the urethra or rectum, your doctor or nurse will insert a swab into the opening of your urethra or rectum.
- For a sample from your eye, your doctor or nurse will gently brush the insides of your lower and upper eyelids with a swab.
If you have a urine test, do not urinate for 2 hours before the test. Do not wipe the genital area clean before you urinate. Collect the first part of your urine stream, just as you begin to urinate.
There are home test kits you can use to collect a swab or urine sample and bring it to the lab for testing.
How It Feels
Collecting a sample of fluid from the urethra, the anus, or the rectum may cause mild discomfort or pain.
Collecting a sample from the cervix may cause mild discomfort. Most women find that the procedure feels similar to a Pap test or pelvic examination. Some women feel slight cramping while the speculum is inside the vagina.
Collecting a sample from the eye is usually painless unless the eyelids have sores on them.
Collecting a urine sample does not normally cause any discomfort.