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At-home gonorrhea tests offer screening for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhea. Some test kits involve collecting a sample at home, while others require a visit to a local lab. Companies providing test kits offer a discreet service and often employ doctors to discuss results and treatments.
A quick look at the 4 best gonorrhea tests
- Best for combination STI testing: LetsGetChecked
- Best for free shipping: Everlywell
- Best for walk-in testing: STDCheck
- Best for follow-up advice from a doctor: myLAB Box
This article describes what gonorrhea is, including its causes and symptoms. We also list and compare four different at-home tests for gonorrhea and offer advice on when to speak with a doctor. Finally, we answer some frequently asked questions about gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea is an STI caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. The bacteria can cause infections in the rectum, vagina, or throat.
Anyone who is sexually active can contract gonorrhea. The infection is
Gonorrhea spreads through anal, vaginal, or oral sex with a person who has the infection.
Gonorrhea symptoms may differ for males and females. Below are some examples.
Symptoms in males
Some males with gonorrhea will not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
- a white, green, or yellow discharge from the penis
- burning sensation during urination
- swollen or painful testicles
Symptoms in females
Most females with gonorrhea do not experience any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they are
Symptoms of gonorrhea in females may include:
Symptoms affecting both males and females
Rectal gonorrhea infections may cause similar symptoms in both males and females. Examples include:
People can reduce the likelihood of contracting STIs by taking
- using a condom correctly
- being aware of the STI histories of all sexual partners, including any risks from their other partners
- getting the human papillomavirus vaccine
- taking regular STI tests
Medical News Today chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:
- Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in
CLIA-certifiedlabs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
- Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
- Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
- Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers of when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
- Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for combination STI testing: LetsGetChecked
Price: Starts from $99
LetsGetChecked offers a range of STI tests, all of which are capable of detecting gonorrhea.
Once people receive the test kit, they can collect a sample at home and return it to a LetsGetChecked lab using the free shipping label. The lab then sends the results to the customer’s online account within 2–5 days.
In the case of a positive result, a clinical expert from LetsGetChecked calls the individual to discuss the results and recommend sharing these with a doctor to pursue treatment.
These kits have approval from the FDA. Additionally, the company’s labs have certification from CLIA standards and accreditation by the College of American Pathologists.
However, LetsGetChecked does not have accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives the company an F rating. This is the lowest possible rating. Common customer complaints reference shipping and delivery issues.
Best for free shipping: Everlywell
Price: Around $49
Everlywell uses FDA-approved laboratory tests and CLIA-certified labs. The company offers a combination gonorrhea and chlamydia test and screening for a broader range of STIs.
After a customer orders a test kit, a board certified doctor within their state reviews and approves their request. Upon receiving the test, the customer provides a urine sample and sends it to the lab specified on the label. In a few days, the company posts the test result on the customer’s account.
In the case of a positive test, a board certified physician will contact the customer at no extra cost and provide treatment where necessary.
While Everlywell does not have accreditation with the BBB, it has an A+ rating. On the BBB website, Everlywell has a star rating of 1.23 out of 5 stars, based on 44 customer reviews. The company has closed 67 customer complaints in the last 12 months.
Best for walk-in testing: STDCheck
Price: Starts from $59
STDCheck uses FDA-approved laboratory tests and CLIA-certified labs. The company offers a single test for gonorrhea and another screening for a full range of STIs.
After ordering a kit, the customer attends a local testing center to provide the sample. The customer does not need an appointment and does not need to bring along any paperwork. The company posts the test result to the customer’s account within 1–2 days.
If the test results are positive, the customer can call the company to speak with a clinician. The clinician may provide treatment at their discretion.
Analyte Health is the parent company of STDCheck and holds accreditation with the BBB. It has an A+ rating with the organization. On the BBB website, Analyte Health has a star rating of 4.82 out of 5 stars, based on 1,421 customer reviews. The company has closed eight customer complaints in the last 12 months.
Best for follow-up advice from a doctor: myLAB Box
Price: Starts from $79
MyLAB uses FDA-approved laboratory tests and CLIA-certified labs. The company sells a combination gonorrhea and chlamydia test and a test for a fuller spectrum of STIs.
Upon ordering and receiving the test, the customer provides a urine sample and mails it to the lab. Within 2–5 days, the company sends the test results to the customer’s online account.
If the results are positive, the customer can schedule a phone call with a healthcare professional, who will explain the next steps.
MyLAB Box does not hold accreditation with the BBB. However, it does have an A- rating with the organization. The company does not currently have any customer reviews on the BBB website and closed four complaints in the past year.
The following table compares the four gonorrhea tests in this article.
|Price||starts from $99||$49||starts from $59||starts from $79|
|Tests for||• chlamydia|
|Lab or home test||at-home test||at-home test||local testing center||at-home test|
|Sample||• urine sample|
• finger prick
|urine sample||urine sample||urine sample|
|Shipping||free shipping||free shipping||no shipping||free shipping|
|Result time||2–5 days||within days||1–2 days||2–5 days|
|Follow-up care||a consultation with a nurse if a test is positive||provides guidance if a test is positive||a consultation with a doctor if a test is positive||a consultation with a physician if a test is positive|
Factors to consider when purchasing at-home gonorrhea tests include:
- Certified laboratories: People should try to choose an at-home test that processes samples at labs with a
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)certification.
- Clear instructions: People may wish to verify that the test they purchase provides clear instructions and guidance on how to collect samples.
- Consultations: Some companies provide consultations with healthcare professionals if a person receives a positive result. People may wish to choose tests from these companies for additional support.
- Cost: Many companies do not accept insurance. However, some may offer subscription discounts or allow people to use an FSA or HSA.
A person can receive gonorrhea testing from several places. Some organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, may offer discounted services.
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization. It provides sex education and more affordable healthcare for those with and without insurance. People without insurance may qualify for lower fees.
People attending colleges or universities can often find student centers that provide sexual health services such as STI testing. However, services may vary between colleges and states.
Students can find their health center on the college or university’s website.
Mobile health clinics
Mobile health clinics may be beneficial for people who cannot access other services. These clinics may offer sexual health services, including STI testing.
Doctor’s offices may offer STI tests and other sexual health services.
Healthcare professionals can collect samples and send them to laboratories for results.
Urgent care clinics
Some urgent care clinics or health department centers offer STI testing.
However, urgent care clinics may have long wait times.
People should consult a doctor if they experience symptoms of gonorrhea. As it is possible to have a gonorrhea infection without symptoms, people should also undergo screening if they are at risk of contracting the infection.
If test results indicate an infection, it is vital to speak with a healthcare professional for prompt treatment. A person’s sexual partners also need to take a test and receive treatment if required.
Prompt treatment of gonorrhea can prevent complications. The
- infertility or long-term abdominal pain in females
- sterility in males
- life threatening blood infections in males and females, although such incidents are rare
Below are some answers to common questions about gonorrhea tests.
Who needs the test for gonorrhea?
Any person who experiences symptoms of gonorrhea or suspects that they may have gonorrhea should undergo screening for this infection.
- sexually active males who have male partners
- sexually active females younger than 25 years
- sexually active females older than 25 years with risk factors, such as:
- a new sexual partner
- multiple sexual partners
- a sexual partner with an STI
Are home tests reliable?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that gonorrhea home testing is a safe and reliable screening method. If a doctor recommends home testing, people should follow the kit instructions carefully.
How long does it take to test positive for gonorrhea?
The FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification (NAA) gonorrhea test is a urine test that a person can take as soon as 2–6 days after exposure to Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. The test can detect the bacteria within the urine sample, regardless of whether symptoms are present.
However, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) suggests that it may be beneficial for people to wait up to a week before testing for gonorrhea. At this stage, there should be more bacteria, which will make the infection easier to detect.
Can blood tests detect gonorrhea?
Blood tests can detect a number of STIs, but they cannot detect gonorrhea. Testing for gonorrhea involves either swabbing different areas of the body, providing a urine sample, or both.
Any person who experiences symptoms of gonorrhea should have a test to check if they have acquired the infection. Doctors also advise yearly gonorrhea screening for people who are sexually active and at high risk of contracting the infection. For those who require gonorrhea screening, at-home gonorrhea testing kits are a convenient, reliable, and discreet option.
There are several at-home gonorrhea tests available on the market. The type a person chooses will depend on multiple factors, including whether they want to test for gonorrhea alone versus testing for multiple STIs.
Early diagnosis and treatment of gonorrhea can prevent health complications. As some complications are serious, it is crucial that people who receive a positive test result seek prompt medical attention.