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Exams and Tests
Diagnosis of gonorrhea includes a medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor may ask you the following questions.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history. Then:
Several gonorrhea tests can be used to detect or confirm an infection. Your doctor will collect a sample of body fluid or urine to be tested for gonorrhea bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). Most tests give results within a few days.
Other sexually transmitted infections may be present with a gonorrhea infection. Your doctor may recommend testing for:
In the United States, your doctor must report to the state health department that you have gonorrhea.
If you engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, you may want to consider being tested once a year for gonorrhea even though you don't have symptoms. High-risk sexual behaviors include having multiple sex partners or having sex without using a condom (except if you're in a long-term relationship). Testing will allow gonorrhea to be quickly diagnosed and treated. This helps reduce the risk of transmitting gonorrhea and avoid complications of the infection.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends screening for pregnant women who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors to prevent them from transmitting gonorrhea to their babies. If a pregnant woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, she may be tested again during the third trimester before delivery, to prevent transmitting the infection to her newborn.1
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