Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can affect more than just the genitalia of men and women
who contract the disease. Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonnorrhoeae, this infection can affect the urinary tract and
female reproductive organs, along with the anus, mouth, throat and eyes in some instances. Gonorrhea usually involves
symptoms of discharge from the vagina or penis, burning in the urinary tract, swollen genitalia, and burning or swollen
glands in the throat.
What is Gonorrhea?
One of the most curable and common STDs is Gonorrhea. A certain type of bacteria causes Gonorrhea. It can be passed to
other people by sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal sex). There are approximately 700,000 new infections of Gonorrhea
every year in the United States, estimates the CDC.
What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea can be a silent STD, meaning that you can have it and not even be aware. This is especially true in men, as
well as most women. The symptoms of Gonorrhea in men will usually reveal themselves a few days after infection. They can
be: odd discharge from the penis, pain during urination, and itching. In women, symptoms are often a bit more mild. Mostly,
women who have Gonorrhea will not have symptoms, however, if they do show up, they would be: fever, pain during urination,
unusual discharge from the vagina, vomiting, stomach pain and bleeding between periods.
How is Gonorrhea contracted?
You can get Gonorrhea from sex (oral, anal or vaginal). Even if the penis or tongue does not enter the anus or vagina
completely, Gonorrhea can still be passed on to someone. You may wonder how it can be prevented. The truth is, not having
sex is the only way to be completely safe from sexually transmitted diseases. If you do choose to have sex, you should be
using a condom every time (for all vaginal, anal and oral sex). Using a condom is the best way you can stay healthy.
How do I go about getting tested for Gonorrhea?
A urine test called the NAA Test (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) is highly recommended by the CDC, because it is so
accurate. This test is offered in the Gonorrhea & Gonorrhea Panel as well as the eight Test Panel for Gonorrhea. There
is no swabbing involved with this test, you simply have to pee inside of a cup.
What else do I need to know about the Gonorrhea test?
This test is the most accurate test for detecting the Gonorrhea bacteria. It is the current standard and the most widely
used. It is very unlikely to have false-positive results with this test, because it is DNA-based and is extremely
sensitive. At no extra cost, you will be put in touch with a physician on the phone after your results are ready. This
physician can advise you on your next steps based based on your results. If necessary, he or she can advise you of a
treatment as well.
Does Gonorrhea have a cure?
Yes, there is an easy treatment for Gonorrhea if you test positive. You will be prescribed antibiotics by your health
care provider or (Rapid STD Testing), and these will kill the Gonorrhea bacteria. Remember that both your partner and you
must be treated, and this must be done before you have sexual contact again. This is always the best way to avoid
reinfection. As with everything health related, you must follow the instructions from your doctor very carefully.
What happens if I do not get treated for Gonorrhea?
If you go untreated for Gonorrhea, you are much more susceptible to getting some other STDs, including HIV, if you come
into contact with them. For men, you could get a painful infection of the testicles if you leave Gonorrhea untreated. You
could also get inflammation of the prostate, infertility or urethral scarring. For women, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
is also possible with Gonorrhea left untreated. Remember that untreated PID could lead to possibly dangerous cases of tubal
pregnancy or even infertility.
Remember that gonorrhea can be cured.
If you are diagnosed with having gonorrhea, there is good news. It can effectively and easily be cured with an antibiotic treatment. You must use the antibiotics prescribed to kill the bacteria for gonorrhea. These antibiotics are doxycycline and azithromycin. You may take single doses of cefixime or ceftriaxone. You must talk to your physician about the best option for you personally.
Can I get gonorrhea more than once?
Your gonorrhea infection should be clear in a week once you are cured. But you can be re-infected. You are not immune once you are cured for gonorrhea, so you can indeed get it again. This is why you must have your sexual partner(s) treated at the same time that you are. This way the untreated partner will not still be harboring the infection and won’t re-infect you. Always make sure to complete your entire round of antibiotics as well.
You may be treated for chlamydia at the same time you are treated for gonorrhea.
Because people infected with gonorrhea can be infected with chlamydia at the same time, often doctors will recommend the treatment for both of these infections at the same time. That means you may take an additional antibiotic. It could be either cefixine (orally in liquid or pill form) or ceftriaxone as an individual shot.
It is possible for pregnant women to take antibiotics as well.
Remember to always consult your doctor, but it is possible that if you are pregnant and have gonorrhea, you can still be treated with antibiotics. You might not be entirely comfortable taking antibiotics during your first term, but it is most important to take them during this time to protect the fetus from becoming infected. In fact, gonorrhea is a top cause of conjunctivitis in newborns or prenatal pneumonia.
This is all according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). If these problems occur, they can lead to infant death or blindness. Gonorrhea can be passed from the mother to the baby during birth. You will have assistance from your doctor weighing the involved risks. Together, you can find the treatment plan that gives you the most comfort. Azithromycin, erythromycin and sometimes amoxicillin are the oral antibiotics that are often recommended for pregnant women with gonorrhea.
Will I need to get swabbed for the gonorrhea test?
No, only a urine sample is required.
Tell me more.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) highly recommends the NAA Test (Gonorrhea Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) for its accuracy in detecting gonorrhea. It is a molecular test. The test does not include swabbing. You simply pee in a cup. The amplification of the DNA found in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is what the test is based on. These molecular tests are usually more sensitive than other swabbing tests that use a conventional culture to identify specimens that are positive.
What will I get from the test result?
If you have a positive test, you have an active gonorrhea infection. You will need a course of antibiotics as treatment to cure the infection.
If, however, your test is negative, this means that at the time you took the test, there was no sign of the infection. If you are sexually active, new studies show that you need to be tested for gonorrhea (as well as other STDs) before the start of each new sexual relationship. It is quite common to have a re-infection.
You should know that your sexual partner or partners need to be tested (and treated) if you are infected yourself.
After you have been cured, get retested in 3 months.
This additional test is called a “test of cure.” Although you were already treated, you are at risk for re-infection. This is especially true if your partner has not been treated. The only way to be completely sure that you do not have a re-infection from a partner who was not treated for gonorrhea as you were, is to be tested for gonorrhea and other STDs an additional time.
Is this a blood test or a urine test ?
The Gonorrhea Test is a urine test. When you get to the lab, you’ll simply urinate into a cup. There’s no need to get undressed or have any uncomfortable swabbing.
What will the results tell me?
Gonorrhea Test results are either positive or negative. Positive means the test found gonorrhea. Negative means the test did not find any signs of gonorrhea. It’s possible to get tested too early after being exposed to gonorrhea. Wait to get tested for at least 7-10 days after a possible exposure for the most accurate test result.
Do you offer throat and anal swabbing ?
We currently do not offer throat and anal swabbing. We recommend you talk to your local provider about annual swab tests, as well as hepatitis and HPV vaccinations and anal pap smears. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends annual throat and/or anal swabs if you’re a gay or bisexual man, or you’re transgender who practices oral or anal receptive sex.
Is gonorrhea curable ?
Yes, gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics. Our physicians will decide which treatment option is best for you and, if appropriate, will electronically send a prescription to your local pharmacy.
Will I need to fast or prepare for the test ?
You won’t need to fast.