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Diagnosis of gonorrhea includes a medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor may ask you the following questions.
Do you think you have been exposed to any sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? How do you know? Did your partner tell you?
What are your symptoms?
Do you have any discharge? What color is it? Does it smell?
Do you have sores in your genital area or anywhere else on your body?
Do you have any urinary symptoms? These symptoms include frequent urination, burning or stinging with urination, and urinating in small amounts.
Do you have any unusual belly or pelvic pain?
What kind of birth control do you use?
Do you or your partner engage in certain sexual behaviors that may put you at risk? These include having multiple sex partners or having sex without a condom.
Have you had an STI in the past? How was it treated?
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history. Then:
Women may have a pelvic exam.
Men may have a genital exam. The doctor will look for signs of urethritis and epididymitis.
You may have a urine test.
Several tests can be used to confirm an infection. Your doctor will collect a sample of fluid or urine to be tested. Most tests give results in a few days.
Along with gonorrhea, you may have other sexually transmitted infections. Your doctor may recommend testing for:
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
In the United States, your doctor must report to the state health department that you have gonorrhea.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women ages 24 and younger. The CDC and USPSTF also recommend screening for women older than 24 who have risk factors for gonorrhea.
You may want to be tested once a year if you have increased risks for STIs. These risks 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. It also helps you avoid complications of the infection.
The CDC also recommends screening for at-risk pregnant women. This can prevent them from passing gonorrhea to their babies. If a pregnant woman is at high risk for gonorrhea, she may be tested again during her third trimester.