Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause infections in the throat, rectum, and genitals. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 78 million new cases of gonorrhea each year. Within the United States alone, the CDC estimates that there are over 550,000 new diagnosed infections each year. Gonorrhea is the 4th most common STD in the U.S. (behind HPV, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis).
Gonorrhea spreads through sexual contact with a partner who is infected. It can also be passed from mother to baby during childbirth. Since the infection is usually asymptomatic, or symptomless, most people don’t know whether or not they are infected. Luckily today, testing for gonorrhea and other STDs at home with testing kits has never been easier or more discreet.
Our top recommended gonorrhea tests
Hopefully by now, you understand how important it is to test for gonorrhea and have decided to go ahead and get tested. But before moving forward, ask yourself two questions:
1) Do you want to test only for gonorrhea, or do you also want to test for other common STDs? 2) Do you want to take the test at home, or would you rather visit a local test clinic?
Regarding the first question, if you think you might be infected with gonorrhea, then at minimum, we recommend you also test for chlamydia. This is because gonorrhea and chlamydia are known to be co-existing infections, and people are frequently infected with both bacteria at the same time. In fact, most of the best test providers only sell tests that screen for both STDs.
If you are not sure about which STD you have possibly contracted and want the peace of mind of knowing that you are likely free of all STDS, we recommend taking a multi-STD panel test.
As for the second question, below are some thoughts about these two test-taking methods, along with our recommendations for the best test for each.
Many people do not know that it is entirely possible to test for STDs completely within the privacy of one’s own home. This is our preferred method for STD testing, because you simply choose and order your test online and wait for your test kit to arrive in the mail.
Next, you follow the directions, take your sample (a simple urine test in this case), and send it back in the postage paid envelope that came with your kit.
Within two to five days, your results are sent to you electronically via the method of your choosing. For most of the top testing providers (and all of our recommended ones), if you test positive, you are given free access to a medical professional who can answer any questions you may have, and most importantly, start your treatment right away.
Our recommendations for gonorrhea (and chlamydia) testing only
Our top choice is the Simple 2 Test [see latest price] from LetsGetChecked. Here are a few reasons why we like this company’s tests:
- Partner lab facilities are CLIA, INAB, CPA, or CAP-certified
- All tests are FDA-certified
- Discreet packaging
- Free phone consultation with a registered nurse if you test positive
- Live online chat available to answer pre-purchase questions
- For a limited time, all Innerbody readers can save 15% off all LetsGetChecked tests by using the promo code: INNERBODY
Another solid option is the Chlamydia + Gonorrhea 3-Site Test [see latest price by myLAB Box. This test costs a bit more, but it tests for infections in the mouth, anus, and genital areas.
Our recommendations for comprehensive, at-home STD testing
For the reasons stated above, we really like the STD tests by LetsGetChecked. The Standard 5 test offers the best combination of comprehensiveness and value in our opinion, while the Complete 10 is one of the most comprehensive at-home tests available. Here is a table summarizing which STDs are covered in which LetsGetChecked test panels:
|Complete 10||Standard 5||Basic 3||Simple 2|
|Current Price||See latest||See latest||See latest||See latest|
|Herpes Simplex (I&II)|
Some test takers do not feel comfortable taking a testing sample themselves at home, or for whatever reason, just prefer visiting an actual testing facility. If this sounds like you, then you might want to skip the at-home testing providers described above.
This testing process starts online, where you select and order the tests you would like to take. Before you place your order, you will be asked to locate the testing location that is most convenient for you.
Next, you simply show up at the test center and submit your sample. You do not need an appointment, though making one could save you some time during busy periods (mostly weekdays during lunch time). The entire sample-taking process usually takes around five minutes.
Our recommendations for gonorrhea testing only
We like STDcheck for the following reasons: - Over 4,500 testing locations nationwide, all CLIA-certified - All tests are FDA-approved - One of the most discreet testing processes available (you don’t even have to give your name if you don’t want to) - Accepts FSA and HSA payment cards
Our runner-up choice is Personalabs’ Chlamydia and Gonorrhea By NAA Urine Test [see latest price].
Our recommendations for comprehensive STD testing
Once again, our top recommendation is from STDcheck, its Comprehensive 10 Test Panel [see latest price].
The Comprehensive 10 Test Panel tests for the following STDs
- Hepatitis A
- HIV (I & II)
- Hepatitis B
- HIV RNA Early Detection
- Herpes (I & II)
- Hepatitis C
If you are looking for an alternative to this STDcheck test, another recommendation would be the Comprehensive STD Blood Test from Personalabs [see latest price].
As mentioned above, most people who are infected with gonorrhea are completely unaware of it. But since most common strains of gonorrhea can be easily cured with antibiotics, knowing you are infected as soon as possible is key. When left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to more serious health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease. It increases the chances of ectopic pregnancy in women, epididymitis in men, and infertility for both genders. Plus, you are likely to spread it to sexual partners unknowingly.
Untreated infections may also move to the blood, leading to disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI), which is marked by dermatitis, arthritis, and/or tenosynovitis. If gonorrhea infection is passed to a baby during delivery, there is a chance the baby may experience blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection.
The CDC recommends that most sexually active adults test for gonorrhea (and other common STDs) 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, and quick and trustworthy results. You can take them at home at a time that’s convenient for you.