There is very little risk of serious
problems from having a sample of fluid collected from the cervix, the urethra, the
anus, the eye, or the throat. Women may have a small amount of bleeding from the vagina
if a sample is collected from the cervix.
In rare cases, a person
may have sudden dizziness or fainting (called vasovagal syncope)
because of fear or pain when the swab is inserted into the urethra.
There are no risks linked with collecting a urine sample.
Gonorrhea tests tell if a person has this disease. They look for the bacterium, or germ, that causes gonorrhea. Testing is done on
body fluid or urine samples.
No signs of gonorrhea
bacteria are found. If a culture is done, no gonorrhea
bacteria grow in the culture. More testing for other sexually transmitted
infections may be needed to find the cause of any symptoms.
Signs of gonorrhea bacteria are found. If a culture is
done, gonorrhea bacteria grow in the culture.
What Affects the Test
You may not be able to have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:
- You urinate 2 hours or less before collecting a urine
- A sample from the rectum is contaminated with stool.
- You are a woman and you douche or use vaginal cream or spray within 24 hours before the
- You take antibiotics before the test.
What To Think About
- If a gonorrhea infection is suspected, don't have sex until the test results have come back. If the test shows that you have gonorrhea, don't have sex for 7 days after the start of
treatment. Your sex partner must also be treated for gonorrhea to
avoid passing the infection back to you or to others.
- If you have gonorrhea, all of your sex partners from the last 60 days
should be tested and treated. And you may need to have
tests for other sexually transmitted infections, including
- A gonorrhea culture may be done after a positive
nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) if your doctor or nurse is concerned that you may have
- In the United States, your doctor or nurse must report to the
state health department that you have gonorrhea.
To learn more about testing for sexually transmitted infections, see: