Does this test have other names?
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, N. gonorrhoeae
What is this test?
This urine test helps find out whether you are infected with gonorrhea, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although symptoms of gonorrhea may be mild at first, the infection can be serious if left untreated. It can damage organs, cause infertility in women and some men, and even lead to a life-threatening bacterial infection.
Cases of gonorrhea have declined in the U.S. in recent years, but it remains a concern because some strains have become resistant to common antibiotics. Risk factors for gonorrhea include having unprotected oral sex, rectal sex, or intercourse with a partner who has gonorrhea. Other risks include having multiple sexual partners, a new sexual partner, or a previous gonorrhea infection.
Gonorrhea is easily treated with antibiotics. A one-time dose generally cures the infection in both men and women.
Why do I need this test?
You may have this test if your doctor suspects that you have gonorrhea. The symptoms of gonorrhea depend on where you have the infection. In both men and women, gonorrhea can occur in the urethra, where urine comes out; rectum; and throat.
Gonorrhea is easily cured, but it can be dangerous and even life-threatening if not treated. Among other things, it can cause a potentially fatal blood infection in women and men. It often causes pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. In men, the infection often affects the prostate and the epididymis, the ducts attached to the testicles. It can also cause infertility in men.
In women, symptoms of gonorrhea include:
Increased vaginal discharge
Burning sensation when urinating
Bleeding or spotting between periods
In men, symptoms of gonorrhea include:
Green, white, or yellow discharge from the penis
Burning sensation when urinating
Painful or swollen testicles
In both men and women, symptoms of anal gonorrhea include anal itching, soreness, bleeding, and painful bowel movements. Women sometimes have no symptoms of infection, but only 10 percent of men have no symptoms.
If you're pregnant, you may have this test as part of routine prenatal testing. A pregnant woman who has gonorrhea can pass the infection to her baby during delivery, possibly causing blindness or a potentially fatal blood infection. Detecting and treating gonorrhea prevents such complications.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
You may also be tested for other STDs, including:
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
How is this test done?
This test requires a urine sample. The sample is usually collected by urinating in a specimen cup at your doctor's office.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
If you use genital lubricants or disinfectants before the test, your results might not be accurate.
How do I get ready for this test?
Ask your doctor how to prepare for this test. In addition, be sure your doctor knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
- Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
- Haines, Cynthia, MD