There is very little risk of serious
complications from having a sample of fluid collected from the cervix, urethra,
anus, eye, or 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 experience a 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 involve testing a sample
of body fluid or urine to see if
gonorrhea bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) are present and may be the cause of an infection.
DNA are found. If a culture is done, no gonorrhea
bacteria grow in the culture. More testing for other sexually transmitted
infections (STIs) may be needed to determine the cause of any symptoms.
Gonorrhea antigens or DNA are found. If a culture is
done, gonorrhea bacteria grow in the culture.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Urinating within 2 hours of collecting a urine
- Contamination of a rectal sample with stool.
women, douching or using vaginal creams or sprays within 24 hours of the
- The use of antibiotics before the test.
What To Think About
- If a gonorrhea infection is suspected, avoid sexual intercourse
until the test results have come back. If results point to a gonorrhea
infection, continue to avoid sexual intercourse for 7 days after the start of
treatment. Your sex partner must also be treated for a gonorrhea infection to
avoid reinfecting you or to avoid infecting others.
- If you have a
gonorrhea infection, all of your sex partners from within the last 60 days
should be tested and treated. If gonorrhea is suspected, you may need to have
tests for other sexually transmitted infections, including
- Only one laboratory test
(ELISA, DFA, PCR, DNA probe testing, or gonorrhea culture) is needed to
diagnose gonorrhea. Your health professional usually chooses which test to use.
- Samples for gonorrhea testing may be taken
from more than one site.
- The nucleic acid amplification tests
(NAATs) are more accurate than a gonorrhea culture because they can detect both
living and dead gonorrhea bacteria.
- A gonorrhea culture may be done after a positive
nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or nucleic acid hybridization test (DNA
probe test) if your health professional is concerned that you may have
- In the United States, your health professional must report to the
state health department that you have gonorrhea.
To learn more about the treatment for a gonorrhea infection, see the topic