Gonorrhea (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. Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). 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.

Gonorrhea is a common infectious disease. It affects more than 1 million people in the U.S. each year. It is a health 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 past infection with gonorrhea

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.

If you're pregnant, you may have this test as part of prenatal testing. A pregnant person 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. 

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:

  • White, yellow or green discharge from the penis

  • Burning feeling when urinating

  • Painful or swollen testicles

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

  • Anal itching

  • Discharge

  • Soreness

  • Bleeding 

  • Painful bowel movements 

What other tests might I have along with this test?

You may also be tested for other STIs, including:

  • Chlamydia

  • Hepatitis B

  • HIV

  • Syphilis

  • Trichomoniasis 

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, and other things. Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.

How is this test done?

This test needs 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: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Chad Haldeman-Englert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2022
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