Gonorrhea Test Kit

By: Lauren Browning
Last Updated: August 20, 2018

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes infections in the throat, rectum, and genitals. It spreads through sexual contact with a partner who is infected. It can also spread during childbirth from mother to baby. Since the infection is usually asymptomatic, or symptomless, many people don’t know they have gonorrhea. However, if symptoms are present, here are some of the more common ones:

  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Itching around the anus
  • Rectal pain, soreness, discharge and/or bleeding
  • Sore throat or trouble swallowing
  • For women, pain in the abdominal or pelvic area; pain during sex; vaginal discharge or bleeding in between periods
  • For men, pain, tenderness or/and swelling of the testicles; white, yellow, or green discharge from the opening of the penis; scrotal pain

Why Buy a Gonorrhea Test Kit?

It’s important to test for gonorrhea because it can be cured, but if left untreated it may lead to more serious health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease. Untreated gonorrhea increases the chances of ectopic pregnancy in women, epididymitis in men, and infertility for both genders. The infection may also move to the blood, leading to disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI), which is marked by dermatitis, arthritis, and/or tenosynovitis.

If a pregnant mother passes the gonorrhea infection to her baby during delivery, there is a chance the baby may experience blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection.

The CDC recommends people test for gonorrhea at least once a year, sometimes more frequently depending on lifestyle. If you dread finding time in your schedule to make appointments, waiting endlessly in the doctor’s office and lab, or feeling self-conscious about others knowing the reason you’re visiting the lab or doctor, you may want to consider taking a gonorrhea test at home. Home test kits offer discreet shipping and billing, quick and trustworthy results, and you can take them at home at a time that’s convenient for you.

Get tested for gonorrhea if you:

  • Are sexually active
  • Have had sexual contact with a partner who may have gonorrhea
  • Are pregnant
  • Have sexual contact with multiple partners

What Companies Offer Gonorrhea Test Kits?

Home test kits for gonorrhea vary widely in price because some companies sell kits that only test for gonorrhea, while others sell kits that check for other types of STDs in addition to gonorrhea. Therefore, prices range from $29-$379. Here are some of the reputable companies that sell gonorrhea home test kits:

EverlyWell

EverlyWell offers a test (separately for men and women) that includes gonorrhea as well as six other common STDs, for a price of $199.

LetsGetChecked

Prices of the LetsGetChecked gonorrhea tests range from $99 to $379, because their four options vary in the number of STDs they cover. The lowest-priced test checks for gonorrhea and chlamydia, while the most expensive test checks for ten different infections.

Private iDNA

For the relatively low price of $69, Private iDNA offers a gonorrhea home test that checks only for gonorrhea. Otherwise you can buy more extensive STD tests that check for gonorrhea as well as other STDs. $99 allows you to check for gonorrhea and chlaymdia, for instance, but for $369 you can test for eight different sexually transmitted diseases.

myLAB Box

With myLAB Box, you can test for gonorrhea and chlamydia together for only $79. But there are numerous test packages varying in the number of STDs that are covered, including gonorrhea. The 14-panel STD test is their most comprehensive STD package and costs $369.

STD Rapid Test Kit

At $29, the gonorrhea-only STD Rapid Test Kit is a steal compared to other products. They also offer more extensive STD test kits for higher prices.

How Do I Take a Gonorrhea Test?

1

Order the kit online.

Purchase your kit online and wait for it to be delivered to your doorstep. It will likely arrive in discreet, unmarked packaging to ensure your privacy. After opening the kit, it may be necessary to activate it on the company’s website. Do that now before moving onto the next step.

Also, it’s recommended that you wait 3 weeks from the time of potential exposure before you take a home test to check for gonorrhea. If you test too soon, the test may not be accurate because it could be too early to detect any infection.

2

Collect your sample.

Before attempting to collect a sample, read the instructions carefully. If those are unclear, check the company’s website for instructional videos to further help you understand the next steps.

Most kits require either a urine sample or a swab sample (a cotton swab sample from the urethra for males and a vaginal swab for females).

For urine sample collection, begin by washing your hands in warm soapy water. Open the urine sample box and pass the first part of your urine in the box until it’s half full. Pass the rest into the toilet. Carefully pour urine from the collection box into the urine sample tube until it reaches the marked lines on the side of the tube. Close the lid of the tube. Throw away the urine collection box and any remaining urine. Put your sample in the biohazard bag that’s included in your kit and put it in the designated area of the kit. Put the kit in the supplied pre-paid envelope and ship.

How you collect the swab sample from the urethra (for males) and vagina (for females) may vary by kit. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure the swabs do not touch any other surfaces before placing them in the designated tube or bag. This will ensure your sample is not contaminated.

Some kits don’t require the sample to be sent back to a lab. If that’s the case, follow these steps to collect a cotton swab sample. Open the mixing tube and open Buffer A. Using the dropper, take 8-9 drops from Buffer A and place them into the mixing bowl. Males will then insert the swab into the urethra of the penis and keep it there for 30 seconds. Next, carefully rotate the swab with sufficient pressure just to dislodge the epithelial cells inside the urethra wall. Remove the swab. Females will insert the swab into the vaginal tract for 30 seconds and then remove the swab. Place the sample into the mixing bowl of the extraction tube and swirl it with the Buffer A liquid. Using the dropper, take out 9 drops from Buffer B and add them into the mixing bowl with the sample. Let all of the liquids combine. Remove the swab by squeezing it along the wall of the tube to get as much liquid as possible into the tube. Put the top on the tube and shake it several times. Then, take 4 drops out with the dropper and place them in the test cassette’s testing well.

3

Get your test results.

For kits that require you to send the sample to lab, place your sample in the prepaid box or envelope and mail it back to the certified lab. Your results will be ready in 1-7 days after the lab receives your sample. Your results will be sent to you through an online account with the testing company and will be private and secure so only you can view them.

If you purchased a kit that doesn’t require you to send your sample to a lab, you’ll need to wait 10-15 minutes to see results on the test cassette. Similar to a pregnancy test, one or two lines will appear. If only one line appears on the control (C) line, it’s a negative result. If a line appears on the control and test (T) lines, it’s positive. Do not read the results after 30 minutes.

What Will the Results Indicate?

Your results will show whether or not an infection has been detected for gonorrhea. With most test kits you’ll receive a report that’s easy to read via the company’s secure and private online portal.

If your results are positive, you’ll be able to share a copy of the report with your doctor. In fact, it’s recommended that you discuss any positive results with a physician so you can get immediate care and treatment. If your results are positive, avoid any sexual activity until you talk with your doctor.

If your results are negative, you likely don’t have an infection. However, since STDs have an incubation period, it’s possible that you tested too early after the exposure and the test can’t pick up the infection yet. This is why it’s crucial that you regularly check for STDs.

How Reliable Are the Tests?

They’re very reliable. Most companies claim that their results are over 99.9% accurate and just as reliable as a traditional lab or clinic test. Some kits are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and some test your sample(s) at labs that are certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and compliant with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Other test kits may not be FDA-approved, but they boast other credible factors. For example, while some may not be FDA-approved, their tests are done in labs that are FDA-cleared.

If your results come back positive or abnormal, some testing companies will have a board-certified physician or registered nurse contact you to review your results and possibly even provide treatment. Another option you may see from some companies is a one-time retest option if your initial test had a positive result. This is to ensure the first test’s accuracy.

While most tests will have a positive or negative result, there are occasionally inconclusive results. This is not the same as an abnormal result. Instead, it means there isn’t a definitive answer at the moment.

If you aren’t satisfied with your testing experience, check if the kit you purchased includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

Regardless of your results, home test kits are not meant to be a replacement for a consultation and examination with a physician. If you receive a positive result after taking a home gonorrhea test, or you suspect that something may be wrong, schedule an appointment with your doctor so that you receive care and treatment if needed.

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