can you have gonorrhea and test negative

Can You Have Gonorrhea And Test Negative?

Learn How Gonorrhea Might Not Show Up On An STD Test

So, you think you might have gotten gonorrhea and, yet, all of your tests have come back negative. Even though chances are that your test is correct, there is a slight chance that you might still have contracted gonorrhea and your urine test was incorrect.

Be aware of the incubation period of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea takes 2-6 days to incubate. You should test at home after this short incubation period to be 100% sure that the infection will be detectable. Treatment for gonorrhea is not as scary as you might think, take a simple course of antibiotics and retest yourself two weeks after finishing treatment.

STD testing is NOT a part of a routing physical examination

The first most common reason your tests didn’t come up positive is that you weren’t tested for the STDs that you thought you were being tested for. Just because your doctor gave you a clean bill of health at your last annual check-up doesn’t mean that they gave you an STD test. Most doctors, unless you specifically ask them to, will not automatically give you any type of STD testing. Even though they should ethically test you for such bacterial and viral infections, it is up to their discretion what is included in your health exam. For example, a doctor won’t automatically give you a gonorrhea test at a casual checkup. If you don’t alert them to something new, they won’t have ‘medical’ reason to test you. 

Another misconception about STDs is that you test positive after immediate exposure

However, that is untrue. In fact, pretty much every STD has an incubating phase in which it runs undetected. For gonorrhea, it can take up to two weeks before the infection is detectable on an STD screen. That means that if you get tested anywhere before two weeks of exposure, chances are you’ll show up negative in a test screen. If you are having unprotected sex and are worried about catching an unwanted STD or STI, keep in mind the amount of time the infection can go undetected. In the long run, testing yourself immediately after having unprotected sex is both a waste of money and useless.

Urine tests may not detect gonorrhea in the mouth or anus

Extragenital gonorrhea tests screen not only your genital region, but also your mouth (oral gonorrhea test), and your rectum (anal gonorrhea test). For obvious reasons, this is often called a “three-site” test.

myLAB Box’s Extragenital test will also screen these areas for chlamydia as well. The reason for this is simple: both infections are often found together. If you’re testing for gonorrhea, you might as well screen for chlamydia, too. It’s an easy way to track two infections in three areas of your body, all with a single test kit!

What are the symptoms of Oral Gonorrhea?

When it comes to gonorrhea, especially oral gonorrhea, there is an entire slew of symptoms that you should be aware of. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Painful, swollen glands – This is probably the most common sign that you’ve been infected with gonorrhea in your mouth or throat. If your glands are swollen and even painful to the touch, it’s important that you get them checked out as soon as possible. 
  • Conjunctivitis – Although commonly referred to as ‘pink eye,’ conjunctivitis is a painful and itchy infection that may produce pus and sensitivity to light.
  • Sore throat – If you’re experiencing a sore throat after engaging in oral sex or anything that would have transmitted sexual fluids into your mouth or throat, that should raise an alarm. Sometimes minor symptoms are the telltale sign that you’ve been infected.
  • Difficulty swallowing – If you’re having difficulty swallowing in combination with any of the other symptoms, be sure to look out for other symptoms, and get tested.

In the off chance that you have gonorrhea, were tested two after exposure, and were verified by your doctor that he/she tested you then there’s a possibility that the test was inaccurate. When a diagnostic test is created, there is almost always a compromise between sensitivity and specificity. Almost no test is perfect when it comes to testing every single person in every single scenario. An STD test’s ability to guess your health is largely dependent on the population that the test bases its answers on. That means that testing confidently and with a company that you trust is ever more important when choosing where to get your STD tests.

Getting tested for STDs and STIs is a necessary tool when it comes to reducing the possibility that you have an undetected or undiagnosed STD that could be transmitted to others. Even if you are having safe sex, doesn’t make sex an absolutely risk-free activity. Between the lack of information on some STDs and the quality of tests on the market, it’s important to stay as vigilant as possible in your determined fight against unhealthy behaviors. With the proper information and proper determinism, you can stay aware of the health risks associated with STDs.


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