I am too shy to have the STD conversation with my doctor. That’s why I prefer to use a home gonorrhea test kit. It saves me from the embarrassing doctors visit and keeps me from having to take a half day off work.
If you think you might have gonorrhea, don’t feel ashamed. It’s actually one of the most common STIs in the world. It’s fairly easy to contract and spread but can lead to some devestating health effects if it goes untreated. If you think you may have come into contact with it, don’t fret. Just get tested.
Gonorrhea is the street name of a bacterial infection caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. It’s a resilient little bacterium that can survive in a lot of places, unlike STIs like trichomoniasis that can only survive in one place. Gonorrhea can be found thriving in your throat, mouth, anus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus. Since the bacterium can live in so many different places, you can contract it by engaging in almost any form genital-based sexual activity.
While it’s nearly impossible to get gonorrhea from kissing, it can be transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex even if there is no ejaculation involved. Ultimately, gonorrhea infects your cells and causes them cells to die. As more and more of your cells die, it can lead to a host of serious health issues.
The worst part about gonorrhea is that most people don’t display any symptoms (1). If you’re one of the unlucky people who don’t show symptoms, you can have gonorrhea for years and not know it. If this happens, you’re at risk for the more serious health issues.
If you’re lucky, your body will start to show symptoms within the first month of contracting it. The incubation period can take up to two weeks. If you’re not showing symptoms after two weeks, then you may never display symptoms.
However, if you do start to display symptoms here’s what they might look like:
If gonorrhea is left untreated, it can cause joint pain, fevers, skin sores, and infertility in both men and women. It also can cause babies to be born blind (2).
Like many other STIs, not treating gonorrhea weakens your immune system. This means you’re more likely to contract another STI or get sick more often. In the past, gonorrhea has been fairly easy to treat. Since gonorrhea has been getting exposed to pharmaceutical antibiotics for some time now, some strands have built up an immunity to the typical antibiotics. This type of gonorrhea is harder to treat and is known as Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea or Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea (3).
If your initial round of treatment doesn’t work, contact your doctor ASAP.
Gonorrhea is not like most of your other STDs. It can be hard to test for because it can stay in one local region of your body. So if you have gonorrhea in your throat, a urine test won’t detect it. If you have gonorrhea in your anus, an oral test won’t detect it, and so on and so forth. For the most accurate results, you will have to test all three of the most common gonorrhea regions.
If you don’t engage in anal or oral sex, then you will only need to test your genitals.
The most popular type of gonorrhea test is the urine test. Unfortunately, this is the only test that most people are aware of. Since most people engage in at least two types of sexual activities (oral-genital, genital-genital, or anal-genital), we have to get the word out about three-site gonorrhea testing.
A urine test will tell you whether you have gonorrhea in your urinal tract or not. You also could do a urethral swab test, but most people prefer the urine test because it’s not painful. Both the urine and urethra test can be ordered online and done at home.
The oral test is similar to the urethra swab, but you do it in your mouth. There’s not much else to say about it. Take the cotton swab and rub it across your throat or as far back on your tongue as you can bear. Gonorrhea lives in the throat, not the mouth. You will get the most accurate results by swabbing further back.
To test for gonorrhea of the anus, you will have to swab your anus. Just like the others, you can do this test from the comfort of your home. By conducting all three of these tests, you will have peace of mind about your gonorrhea status.