Is Testing Needed with No Gonorrhea Symptoms?

Q: I am an 18-year-old male, and I have been sexually active for approximately 2 years. Although I always try to use protection when I have sex, there have been a few occasions when protection was not used. Recently, I heard that a girl I was intimate with a couple of months ago has gonorrhea. Although I haven’t been experiencing any gonorrhea symptoms, at least not to my knowledge, I’m still scared. Could you please tell me more about the symptoms of gonorrhea? Do I need to be tested if I’m not exhibiting any symptoms?

L. Kilper
Birmingham, Alabama

A: Hi, you’ve expressed some very good and common questions about gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted infection, and it is also very easily transmitted. While it is good that you are not showing any noticeable symptoms, it does not put you in the clear. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are notorious for not presenting symptoms – up to 75 percent of the time in women and 50 percent of the time in men.

It is a good idea to seek testing not only because of the rumor you heard, but also because you are sexually active. It is important to seek periodic testing regardless of whether you show symptoms or not. There are various ways to get tested, including with your local health department or your personal doctor. If you don’t want to visit the health department or your doctor, we offer fast and private testing at local testing centers. Simply call our office to register for the test(s), submit the specimen(s), and receive results a few days later. Many STDs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be easily treated. We can help you attain treatment as well if necessary. If you have any questions or would like to schedule testing, please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.