Gonorrhea is known to be the most common sexually transmitted disease. Since symptoms are not present all the time, a gonorrhea test may be the best way to make sure that you are infected with this disease.
In the United States alone, it is the second most reported disease with more than 700,000 new infections reported every year. A significant percentage remains unreported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). New strains are discovered every year. These strains can be easily spread but more difficult to treat.
Gonorrhea is common among certain groups of individuals including young adults, people living in urban areas, African Americans, and drug users. This condition needs to be treated promptly or it may cause serious medical conditions like infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.
Symptoms do not appear in 40% of infected individuals. It is best to get a gonorrhea test if you are concerned about having acquired the infection.
When symptoms appear, they often include the following:
– Irritation of the cervix
– Frequent urination
– Painful urination in men
– Vaginal itching and burning
– Thick yellow or green vaginal discharge
– Thick yellow penile discharge
– Testicular duct inflammation
– Prostate inflammation
– Vaginal irritation
– Menstrual bleeding between periods
– Irritation of mucous membranes in newborn
– Throat infections
– Rectal pain
– Rectal discharge
Diagnosing and Testing Gonorrhea
A gonorrhea test may include a physical examination if you visit a sexual health physician. Tenderness of the sexual organs may indicate infection. People who have acquired gonorrhea complain of pus-filled discharge. Some people will also complain of fever due to the infection.
Laboratory exams will require a sample of the vaginal or penile discharge which will be studied for gonorrhea bacteria. It takes about two days to detect bacterial presence. A laboratory test will also show a high white blood cell count.