Genital gonorrhea can be diagnosed in a number of ways. A urine sample can be used to test for genital gonorrhea in people of any anatomy.
A urethral swab may be used to test for genital gonorrhea in penis-havers. An endocervical or vaginal swab may be used to test for genital gonorrhea in vagina-havers.
You can use a mouth or throat swab to test for oral gonorrhea. An anal or rectal swab can be used to test for anal gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea, also known as “the clap” or “the drip,” is a bacterial sexuality transmitted infection (STI) caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. It can target moist areas of the body, including the genitals, rectum, throat, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and eyes.
Like other STIs, gonorrhea doesn’t appear *poof* out of nowhere. Instead, it’s transmitted when a person without gonorrhea comes into contact with the site where a person who is gonorrhea-positive has gonorrhea.
If, for example, person A has throat gonorrhea and goes down on person B, the infection could be transmitted to person B’s genitals. (Yes, oral STIs are a thing.)
Likewise, if partner A has genital gonorrhea and scissors with person B, the infection could be transmitted to person B’s genitals.
Symptoms usually (usually!) appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure, when they do appear — which is 50 percent of the time in women and around 90 percent of the time in men. Everyone else is asymptomatic.
When someone *does* experience symptoms, they usually include:
- burning or pain while urinating
- yellow, white, or green discharge
- itching, soreness, or skin irritation
- abdominal, pelvic, rectal, or genital pain
Regardless of whether or not someone has symptoms, the virus can still be transmitted.
And not only that: The infection can progress. If untreated, gonorrhea can cause
- abdominal and pelvic pain
- testicle or penile swelling
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- organ infection
In short: Getting tested is imperative.
But did you know that some time needs to pass between when someone first comes into contact with gonorrhea and when they will test positive for it?
Known as the incubation period, this time ranges from 5 days to 2 weeks. That’s why experts recommend getting tested for gonorrhea 2 weeks after potential exposure, and then again several weeks later.
If you get tested before that, you might receive a negative result, even if you’re positive. Or, if you receive a positive diagnosis, it could be because you came into contact prior to your last sexual encounter.
If you find out the person you had sex with has gonorrhea shortly (1 to 3 days) after having sex with them, talk with a healthcare professional. They may be able to prescribe an antibiotic taken as a precaution against the infection.
Think you’re a good candidate for an at-home gonorrhea test? Here, find the best.
How we chose the best at-home gonorrhea kits
To narrow down at-home gonorrhea tests for this list, we dove into patient feedback, cost, result accuracy, result timeline, and ease of use.
Next, we broke them down into the categories like “best on a budget” and “most comprehensive” so that you can find the best at-home gonorrhea test for you.
As you scroll down, you’ll notice that each of the four at-home gonorrhea tests below also test for chlamydia. That’s because both bacterial infections are often asymptomatic, but present with similar symptoms, when symptoms are present.
- Price: $190 (without insurance)
- Type of samples: vaginal swab, throat swab, finger prick
- Results: available online within a few days
The name of this kit may be a little cringe, but it’s overall the best get for vagina-havers.
Why? Because it tests for gonorrhea in the vagina, as well as the throat (!), using the vaginal swab and throat swab.
Here’s why that’s so important: Oral STIs are indeed a thing, and a thing anyone who engages in oral sex is at risk of. But most doctors (and at-home tests) don’t collect throat samples — due to a combination of the oral sex stigma and lack of knowledge — which leaves many individuals with a false understanding of their own STI status.
The Nurx Healthy V Kit also tests for:
In addition to the swabs, the kit also comes with a lancet so you can collect a blood sample to test for syphilis and HIV.
Recommended for vagina-havers who haven’t been tested for STIs in over a year, as well as those who have been experiencing symptoms, the Healthy V Kit is a great one-stop shop.
Best on a budget
- Price: $49
- Type of samples: urine
- Results: available online within a few days
This at-home test by well-known STI testing brand Everlywell is the ultimate twofer: It tests for both chlamydia and gonorrhea using the same urine sample.
Request this package online and you’ll receive a kit with all the materials you need for sample collection in the mail. Plus, instructions on exactly what to do.
Basically, you pee into a green cup. Then, squirt the pee into the urine sample tube using the included pipette. Finally, you put the sample tube into a biohazard bag before putting the whole thing into a prepaid return bag.
You’ll receive your results within a few days through the Everlywell patient portal.
If you receive a positive test, you’ll have the opportunity to talk with a healthcare professional about next steps (aka antibiotics) at no additional cost.
It’s worth mentioning that Everlywell also has a full at-home STD Test available ($149), which allows you to test for other STIs all at once.
- Price: $179
- Type of samples: swab and urine sample
- Results: available online within 2 to 5 days
Once more for the people in the back: It’s possible to have gonorrhea of the genitals, rectum, or throat. That means if you engaged in anal or oral play with a person who is STI-positive or whose current STI status you don’t know, it’s wise to get tested in all three locations.
MyLabBox 3-Site allows you to do just that! (This box also tests for chlamydia in all three locations).
Collection for the test has three parts, but from start to finish, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.
First, you’ll pee into a little tube. Next, you’ll swab your anus. Finally, you’ll swab your throat. (Don’t worry, neither the anal nor throat swabs are painful).
Once you’ve collected your bio samples, you’ll ship them off to the laboratory using a pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope. And you’ll receive your secure results within a matter of 2 to 5 week days.
If you test positive, you’ll receive info on how to obtain a free (free!) telemedicine consultation with a doctor in your state. This doctor may be able to prescribe treatment for chlamydia or gonorrhea, depending on what you test positive for.
They’ll also tell you when you should be retested after treatment to confirm that the infection is gone.
If you’re reading this, odds are it’s because you’re on the market for an at-home gonorrhea test.
Well, you probably have questions beyond, “Which at-home gonorrhea test is best?” That’s why we put together this FAQs list.
Are at-home gonorrhea tests accurate?
Yes! Most at-home STI testing brands use the same type of samples as in-office collection.
Further, at-home testing companies send your samples to the same exact labs that in-person healthcare professionals use, meaning the accuracy with the results is the same.
When should I get tested?
Again, the best time to get tested is 2 weeks after a potential exposure, and then again several weeks later.
Beyond that, however, the
Who should get tested?
If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with gonorrhea, you might choose to take an at-home gonorrhea test.
However, because the symptoms of gonorrhea are similar to those of many other STIs, as well as infections like yeast infections, it may be more cost efficient for you to take an at-home STI test that tests for multiple STIs, or to get tested at a doctor’s office or Planned Parenthood.
Are at-home gonorrhea tests private?
All the tests listed here are completely confidential and private — they have to be under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The packaging for these tests is also discreet. The only indication of where the package is coming and going is the shipping label.
What should I do if my test results are positive?
Most at-home STI testing companies have healthcare professionals on staff who will call you to discuss next steps.
Gonorrhea can’t go away on its own. So, the first step will involve going on antibiotics, which will either include an intramuscular injection or oral dose. The exact dosage and type of medication will vary based on how much the infection has progressed. Learn more about gonorrhea treatment here.
Next, they will help you figure out how to talk with your current partner(s), as well as determine how far back in your sexual history you should be alerting folks. (Yes, talking to current and recent sexual partners is an important step).
Finally, 1 to 2 weeks later, your healthcare professional will have you get re-tested for gonorrhea. This is known as test-of-cure and is important because reinfection is super common. Experts also
Knowing your current STI status, including your gonorrhea status, is imperative for being a responsible sexual citizen, as well as prioritizing your own health.
And at-home gonorrhea tests make it easier to do so, especially for people who don’t have transportation to a testing site.
Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.