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When symptoms do present, the most common signs (for both men and women) include:

  • A greenish or yellowish discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain when urinating

There are some there symptoms that are gender dependent.

Symptoms presented by women only:

  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Bleeding after vaginal intercourse (this symptom is relatively rare)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen area (this symptom is relatively rare)

It is also possible for a mother to pass the disease on to her baby during childbirth.

Symptoms presented by men only:

  • Inflammation (sometimes accompanied by swelling) of the foreskin of the penis
  • Testicular pain (this symptom is relatively rare)

Seeking medical advice

If you present any of the symptoms referred to above, and you believe it is possible you may have been sexually involved with someone who already has the disease, it is important that you seek urgent medical advice. The same is true even if you have not presented symptoms, but you are suspicious that you may have been infected. If you have experienced symptoms but they have disappeared, you should still get tested.  

What a test for gonorrhoea involves

While generally the same in terms of intent, the tests for gonorrhoea are slightly different for men and women, due their anatomical differences.

Tests for women

A medical practitioner or clinician will collect a sample of discharge from the vagina or cervix (the entrance to the womb) using a swab. A sample is sometimes also collected from the urethra. In some instances, a woman may be asked to collect a sample from inside of the vagina herself. It is not usual for women to be asked to provide a urine sample, but this may happen in some cases.

Tests for men

A medical practitioner or clinician will collect a sample of discharge from the tip of the penis using a swab. It is also usual for a sample of urine to be collected. If a urine sample is requested, (and it usually is), it is important that the donor should not have urinated in the 2 hours preceding the test. This is because passing urine can temporarily flush the bacteria out, distorting the results of the test.

Testing other body areas in both men and women

If you believe other body parts many have been infected, (the throat, rectum, or eyes), advise the clinician performing the test so that he/she can take a sample from these areas too.

Obtaining test results

Depending on the nature of the establishment you attend for the test, and the equipment that they possess, the speed of delivery of test result varies. If the clinic has a microscope, and checks the test results on the premises, the result will be given immediately. If the sample is sent away for analysis, test results can take up to 2 weeks.

Where to go for a gonorrhoea test

There are several establishments you can go to in order to be tested for gonorrhoea. These include:

  • A GUM (Genitourinary medicine) clinic – often referred to as a sexual health clinic
  • Your family doctor
  • A contraceptive clinic
  • A private clinic

Our London sexual health clinic that offers private STD tests in London via walk-in service whereby it is not necessary to make a prior appointment.