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Gonorrhea Test (Urine)

Does this test have other names?

GC test

What is this test?

This is a test on a urine sample to check for gonorrhea. It is usually done on the first part of your urine stream Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD).  Gonorrhea can be serious if not treated. It can damage organs and cause infertility in women and men. It can 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 bacteria have become hard to treat with common antibiotics. Risk factors for gonorrhea include having any of the below:

  • Unprotected vaginal, oral, or rectal sex, or sex with a partner who has gonorrhea

  • Multiple sexual partners

  • A new sexual partner

  • A gonorrhea infection in the past 

Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. A one-time dose generally cures it in both men and women. 

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if you have risk factors for gonorrhea. And you may have it if your healthcare provider thinks 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. Or it can occur in the anal area or in the throat. In women, it can also affect the vagina and cervix.

Most women with gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms. In those who do, symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Burning sensation when urinating

  • Bleeding or spotting between periods

  • Pelvic pain

In men, symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Discharge from the penis

  • Burning feeling when urinating

  • Painful or swollen testicles

In both men and women, symptoms of anal gonorrhea include:

  • Anal itching

  • Soreness

  • Bleeding 

  • Painful bowel movements 

If you're pregnant, you may have this test as part of prenatal testing. A pregnant woman can pass the infection to her baby during delivery. This may cause blindness. Or it may cause a blood infection that can lead to death. Finding and treating gonorrhea will prevent these problems. 

What other tests might I have along with this test?

You may also be tested for other STDs, including:

  • Chlamydia

  • Hepatitis B

  • HIV

  • Syphilis

  • Trichomoniasis 

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.

How is this test done?

This test requires a urine sample. The sample is usually collected by urinating in a specimen cup at your healthcare provider's office. You should collect the first part of the urine stream for the test sample.

Does this test pose any risks?

This test poses no known risks.

What might affect my test results?

Urinating within 1 to 2 hours of collecting the urine sample may affect the results. Taking antibiotics can also affect your test results. If you are female, your test results could be affected by douching or using vaginal creams within 24 hours of testing. 

How do I get ready for this test?

Ask your healthcare provider how to prepare for this test. Women should not douche or use vaginal creams within 24 hours of testing. You should not urinate within 1 to 2 hours of testing. In addition, be sure your provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Haldeman-Englert, Chad, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth Greenblatt, RN, MEd
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2018
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