Gonorrhea - Exams and Tests
gonorrhea includes a medical history and a physical
exam. Your doctor may ask you the following questions.
- Do you think you have been exposed to any
sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? How do you know?
Did your partner tell you?
- What are your symptoms?
- Do you have any discharge? If you have
discharge from your vagina or penis, it is important to note any smell or
- Do you have sores in your genital area or anywhere else on
- Do you have any urinary symptoms, including frequent
urination, burning or stinging with urination, or urinating in small
- Do you have any unusual belly or pelvic pain?
- What method of birth control do you use? Do you
use a condom to protect against STIs every time you have sex?
you or your partner engage in
certain sexual behaviors that may put you at risk, such as having multiple sex partners or having sex without using a condom (except if you're in a long-term relationship)?
- Have you had
an STI in the past? How was it treated?
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical
gonorrhea tests can be used to detect or confirm an
infection. Your doctor will collect a sample of body fluid or urine to be
tested for gonorrhea bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).
Most tests give results within a few days.
transmitted infections may be present with a gonorrhea infection. Your doctor may
recommend testing for:
bacterial infection of the
urethra in men, and the urethra, the
cervix, or the upper reproductive organs (or all
three) in women. Up to 40% of people who have gonorrhea also have
- Syphilis, a bacterial infection in which the most
common symptom is a painless sore called a chancre (say "SHANK-er") that
develops on the genitals.
Hepatitis B, a
viral infection that causes the liver to become swollen and tender
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a
virus that attacks the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight
off infection and some diseases.
In the United States, your doctor must report to the state health
department that you have gonorrhea.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
recommends gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women who have risk
factors for gonorrhea.2
You may want to consider
being tested once a year for gonorrhea even though you don't have symptoms if you have increased risks for STIs. These include having multiple sex partners or having sex without using a condom (except if you're in a long-term relationship). Testing will allow gonorrhea to be quickly diagnosed and treated. This helps
reduce the risk of transmitting gonorrhea and avoid complications of the
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also
recommends screening for pregnant women who engage in high-risk sexual
behaviors to prevent them from transmitting gonorrhea to their babies. If a
pregnant woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, she may be tested again during
the third trimester before delivery, to prevent transmitting the infection to