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Gonorrhea Test

Why It Is Done

Tests for gonorrhea are done to:

  • See if a gonorrhea infection may be causing symptoms such as painful urination, anal itching or bleeding, vaginal bleeding after intercourse, or abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina.
  • Screen women who are at high risk for a gonorrhea infection. Because a gonorrhea infection does not always cause symptoms, screening is important. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends routine gonorrhea screening for:1
  • Check for infection in a newborn whose mother had gonorrhea at the time of delivery.

Men who have sex with men are at higher risk for a gonorrhea infection.2

Treating a pregnant woman who has a gonorrhea infection can prevent an infection in her newborn. Screening may be done at the first prenatal visit. Another test may be done during the last 3 months of pregnancy.

In some cases, gonorrhea tests may be done to determine if a recently treated infection has been successfully treated. This is not routinely needed unless gonorrhea has occurred during pregnancy or your sex partner was not treated.

How To Prepare

Gonorrhea testing is done on:

  • Fluid collected from the area of the body that is likely to be infected. Women should not douche or use vaginal creams or medicines for at least 24 hours before having a gonorrhea test.
  • Urine. Do not urinate for 2 hours before a urine sample is collected.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 28, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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