Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have gonorrhea. People who have sex should get tested regularly. Gonorrhea tests are generally quick, painless, and sometimes free.
How do I know if I have gonorrhea?
You can’t tell for sure if you have gonorrhea just by the way you feel. Like all STDs, the only way to know if you have gonorrhea is to get tested — whether or not you have symptoms.
If you think you have gonorrhea symptoms, get tested. Testing is also a good idea if you’ve had unprotected sex or if someone you’ve had sex with has gonorrhea (even if you don’t have symptoms). In general, people who are sexually active should get tested for STDs, including gonorrhea, about once a year. If you’re pregnant, get tested for gonorrhea at your first prenatal visit.
Luckily, gonorrhea testing is usually pretty easy and painless. The best part about getting tested for STDs? Once you get it over with, it can really put your mind at ease. And if you DO have gonorrhea, it’s best to know right away so you can take medication and get better as soon as possible.
What happens during a gonorrhea test?
Gonorrhea testing can be as easy as peeing in a cup. Your nurse or doctor may test any discharge that comes from your urethra, vagina, or anus. Sometimes they’ll use a swab to take cell samples from your penis, cervix, urethra, anus, or throat. The samples are tested for gonorrhea bacteria.
Gonorrhea can have symptoms that look like other common STDs like chlamydia, so your nurse or doctor might test you for a few infections.
The idea of getting tested may seem scary, but try to relax. STD testing is a regular part of being a responsible adult and taking care of your health. The good news is gonorrhea is totally curable with medicine — so the sooner you know you have it, the faster you can get rid of it.
Where can I get tested for gonorrhea?
You can get tested for gonorrhea and other STDs at your doctor’s office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your nearest Planned Parenthood health center. In some states, you can do an online visit and take a gonorrhea test at home.
STD testing isn’t usually part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam — you have to ask for it. Be honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out which tests are best for you. Don’t be embarrassed: your doctor is there to help you, not to judge you.