Gonorrhea

Our Gonorrhea test can detect infections before gonorrhea symptoms and serious consequences occur.  Learn more in this complete guide to gonorrhea treatment.


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Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

 

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of Chlamydialinfections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of Chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci) is the causative agent of gonorrhea. In men, this disease generally results in anterior urethritis accompanied by purulent exudate. In women, the disease is most often found in the cervix, but the vagina and uterus may also be infected.


Most Popular

Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA 

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

2 mL urine using APTIMA® Urine Specimen Collection Kit.

Alternative Specimen(s) 

Urine (no preservatives): 2 mL of urine, specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® Urine Transport Medium within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed • ThinPrep® vial • SurePath™ vial

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

Transport Container 

APTIMA® Transport tube



It might be scary or difficult to think about, but if you've even had one sexual partner, there's a chance you have a sexually transmitted infection or disease (STI or STD). Among STIs and STDs, gonorrhea is among the top three most common in the United States.

The gonorrhea CDC fact sheet estimates that there were about 1.6 million new gonorrhea infections in 2018 alone, most of which happened to people in the 15-24 age bracket.

These statistics make people uncomfortable, but they underscore how important it is to get regularly tested. A gonorrhea test is quick and easy, so there's no reason to hesitate.

To assess your chances and understand the infection and disease, read this article about what gonorrhea is and how you can seek diagnosis and treatment.

What Is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common STI in the United States, only beat out by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and chlamydia. Sexual interactions mostly spread sexually transmitted infections and diseases. However, these diseases can spread in other ways in rare cases.

Gonorrhea, much like other STIs, also does not only affect the genital areas. While the genital area is the most common area to show signs and symptoms of an infection, the infection can occur elsewhere or spread to another area. For gonorrhea, the genital area, rectum, and throat can all show signs and symptoms of an infection.

Left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to more serious, permanent health conditions. Women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and experience ectopic pregnancies, infertility, blocked fallopian tubes, and chronic pain. Men can develop chronic pain and infertility. Additionally, it increases the chances of catching HIV.

Risk Factors for Gonorrhea

If you are sexually active, you are at risk for gonorrhea, among many other STIs and STDs. The only way to completely avoid catching gonorrhea is to abstain from sexual interactions. Both men and women are equally able to catch gonorrhea, although lifestyle choices can affect the likelihood of catching it.

As with all other STDs and STIs, your risk for catching gonorrhea increases with your increased number of sexual interactions and partners.

Men who are sexually active and have sex with other men should seek testing at least once every year. Women under 25 or who have new or multiple sex partners are also advised to get tested at least yearly. If you fit into these categories, you are at high risk.

Your risk of infection also increases if you are having unprotected sex. While it is possible to transmit STIs and STDs while still protected, there is a much smaller chance of transmission.

People who have been in committed, long-term monogamous relationships and have tested negative are generally safe from STIs.

Causes of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is one of the oldest STIs on record. It was originally coined "gonorrhea" by a Greek physician, Galen, before 200 AD. Despite not having its official name, gonorrhea is likely to predate Galen due to many previous references to the disease going back all the way to 2600 BC.

Because of its ancient nature, it's difficult to understand the origins of the disease.

With modern science, we can understand that gonorrhea is mostly caused by having sexual interactions with someone who has already been infected. Gonorrhea can be easily transferred to a sexual partner through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

In unfortunate cases, pregnant women can pass on gonorrhea infections to their children through birth.

Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea

The signs and symptoms of gonorrhea can slightly differ for men and women and the source of infection. It is important to understand that gonorrhea, much like many other STIs, might not show symptoms at first. Many people become infected without knowing and continue to have sex. This lack of early detection is what makes gonorrhea so common and so risky.

Gonorrhea from vaginal sex can cause painful sex, swollen lymph nodes around the groin, painful urination, and unusual discharge for both men and women. Men could also experience swollen testicles, while women could experience bleeding between periods.

If you have gotten gonorrhea from oral sex (or in rare cases, if you've kissed someone with oral gonorrhea), you can experience:

  • Red, sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Fever

If you've gotten gonorrhea from anal sex, you could experience:

  • Rectal discharge
  • Rectal itching or soreness
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Rectal bleeding

If you're at all concerned that you're showing these symptoms, you need to see a doctor right away.

How Is Gonorrhea Diagnosed?

Gonorrhea can be easily diagnosed by a healthcare professional who orders a test and analyzes the results. Tests can be done on urine. If gonorrhea is caught early, it can be treated and will vanish quickly with prescription antibiotics.

Tests for Gonorrhea

A commercial urine test from Ulta Lab Tests is a highly accurate and reliable way to get a diagnosis and next steps from your health care provider. Some of the benefits of buying a gonorrhea urine test are:

  • Secure online results
  • No need for insurance
  • No referral requirements
  • Great pricing
  • Satisfaction 100% guaranteed

Get Started with Gonorrhea Testing

The causes and symptoms of gonorrhea are very similar to many other STIs and STDs, but the results can be very different. Left undetected and untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious, permanent health conditions. That's why it's so important to get tested often and seek treatment immediately.

Ulta Lab Tests can become a part of your regimen for pristine sexual health. We offer tests with high accuracy without the embarrassing swabbing of most STD tests. In turn, you can make informed decisions about your health.

You can save yourself the embarrassment of an STD appointment with your doctor by getting tested privately.

Order your Gonorrhea test today to get confidential results online within the next two days!

Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests.

Any sexually active individual runs the risk of contracting gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can cause serious health consequences if it is not treated correctly; it can be cured with the right medication.

Understanding Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect both men and women at any age. It can cause serious infections in the throat, rectum, and genitals. Gonorrhea is a rather common infection that is prevalent in people between the ages of 15 to 24.

How Does Gonorrhea Spread?

Gonorrhea can spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an individual who has the disease. In addition, a pregnant woman who has gonorrhea can pass it to her baby during childbirth.

How To Reduce The Risk

The only foolproof way of not contacting gonorrhea is to simply not have oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

How To Determine Your Risk

Any individual can get gonorrhea through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

If you are a sexually active individual, it is best to have a discussion with your physician about your lifestyle and decide if you should be tested for gonorrhea as well as other STDs. If you are a man who has sex with other men, you should have yearly tests for gonorrhea. Women should be tested every year if you are 25 or younger or if you have new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner with an STD.

How Can Gonorrhea Affect My Baby?

If you are expecting a baby and have gonorrhea, it is essential to understand that the infection may be passed to your baby during delivery. This can lead to serious health complications for your baby. If you are pregnant, you should speak with your physician to ensure that you get the proper treatment, testing, and medication for your safety and that of the baby. The sooner you are treated for gonorrhea, the better it will be for your baby.

How To Tell If You Have Gonorrhea

Some men who may exhibit no symptoms at all. For those men who do show some symptoms, they may have:

  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • A green, white or yellow discharge from the penis
  • While less common, the testicles may become swollen or painful

Most women who develop gonorrhea will not show any symptoms as well. Even when a female does exhibit symptoms, they are usually mild and may be mistaken for a vaginal or bladder infection. Women who have gonorrhea are at risk for further medical complications.

Some of the various symptoms women can develop include:

  • A burning or painful sensation during urination
  • Increased vaginal discharges
  • Vaginal bleeding in between regular periods

Men and women both may suffer rectal infections with either no symptoms or symptoms which may include:

  • Anal itching
  • Discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Soreness
  • Painful bowel movements

If you notice any of these symptoms, or if your partner has STD symptoms, it is essential to speak with a physician.

How Will A Physician Know If I Have Gonorrhea?

Many times a physician will use a simple urine test in the search for gonorrhea. However, if you have had oral or anal sex, the physician may use swabs to collect samples from those areas for testing.  Sometimes samples from a man’s urethra or woman’s cervix may also be collected using a swab.

Is Gonorrhea Curable?

Yes, it is possible to cure gonorrhea with the right treatment. You need to use all the medication that your physician prescribes. You should not share any medication you receive for the treatment of gonorrhea. While medication will stop the infection, it cannot undo any damage that has already been caused.

As some drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are on the rise, it is becoming more challenging to treat these strains. If your symptoms continue after a few days after you have received treatment, you should return to your doctor for further treatment.

How Soon After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again?

It is best to wait a full seven days after finishing all your medications before having sex. To avoid getting gonorrhea again, or spreading it to other individuals, it is in everyone’s best interest to wait for the full treatment to be completed. If you had gonorrhea in the past and used medication, it is still possible to get infected again if you have unprotected sex with another individual who has gonorrhea.

What If I Do Not Get Treatment?

If gonorrhea goes untreated for an extended period of time it has the possibility of creating serious and permanent health conditions in both men and women.

In women, it can lead to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease. Some typical complications of this disease include:

  • Long term pelvic and/or abdominal pain
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb)
  • Formation of scar tissue that blocks the Fallopian tubes

In men, gonorrhea can lead to a painful condition in the tubes connected to the testicles. In limited cases, this can lead to sterility (the inability to father a child). While rare, the infection can pass to the blood and joints, if left untreated – this can be life-threatening. In addition, leaving gonorrhea untreated can increase the chances of giving or getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

Where can I get more information?

STD information and referrals to STD Clinics

CDC-INFO

1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348

In English, en Español

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Gonorrhea Testing