Testing.com is fully supported by readers. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. You can read more about how we make money here.

  • Also Known As:
  • At-Home Gonorrhea Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
  • At-Home Gonorrhea NAAT Test
Medically Reviewed by Expert Board

This page was fact checked by our expert Medical Review Board for accuracy and objectivity. Read more about our editorial policy and review process.

.
This article was last modified on

Test Quick Guide

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This common sexually transmitted disease (STD) is most often spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Diagnosing and treating gonorrhea is important because untreated infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and potentially dangerous systemic infections.

An at-home gonorrhea test identifies the bacteria by analyzing a sample taken from a site of potential infection, such as urine or a swab collected from the throat or rectum. At-home gonorrhea testing is not an alternative to physician-ordered testing, and positive test results should be verified by a doctor.

About the Test

Purpose of the test

The purpose of at-home gonorrhea testing is to detect an infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. While gonorrhea testing is typically conducted in a medical setting such as a laboratory, clinic, or medical office, self-collection kits are available and allow individuals to obtain their test samples at home. A person’s doctor should be consulted about whether at-home gonorrhea testing is appropriate for their situation.

The sections below provide information about the purpose of at-home and physician-ordered gonorrhea testing.

Purpose of at-home gonorrhea testing

Although the purpose of at-home gonorrhea testing is to detect a gonorrhea infection, there are no expert guidelines for the use of at-home test kits. Research suggests that collecting samples at home may be a useful way to check more people for this infection and may be especially useful when in-person testing is unavailable or inconvenient.

Purpose of a physician-ordered gonorrhea testing

Gonorrhea testing is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor this common STD. Finding and treating gonorrhea is important for ​​reducing health complications, stopping transmission to sexual partners, and preventing reinfection.

Screening tests are ordered to detect gonorrhea in people who do not have evident symptoms like discomfort during urination and genital discharge. Around 10% to 25% of people with gonorrhea have few or no symptoms, and gonorrhea in these individuals may only be detected through a screening test. Screening for gonorrhea is recommended only in certain groups at an increased risk of this infection.

Diagnostic testing for gonorrhea is ordered when a person develops symptoms of an infection. To diagnose gonorrhea, doctors consider a person’s medical history, the results of a physical exam, and laboratory test results. People with symptoms of this infection may be tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and other STDs at the same time. Doctors choose between several types of gonorrhea tests based on a person’s specific situation.

Monitoring tests involve retesting patients for gonorrhea after they finish a course of treatment. Retesting helps to detect repeated gonorrhea infections acquired from an untreated sexual partner. In patients with gonorrhea infections in the throat, retesting may also be used soon after treatment is completed to ensure that the infection is cured.

More information about physician-ordered gonorrhea testing is available in our guide to gonorrhea testing.

What does the test measure?

At-home gonorrhea tests provides the materials needed to collect test samples and mail them to a laboratory for analysis. With these mail-in test samples, laboratories typically perform nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) testing, which detects the DNA of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

When should I get an at-home gonorrhea test?

An at-home gonorrhea test may be helpful for individuals who want to know if they have gonorrhea, especially when in-person testing is not available or convenient. Testing for gonorrhea at home is not recommended for people with symptoms and should not be used as a replacement for seeing a physician.

People interested in at-home gonorrhea testing should talk with a doctor. A doctor is in the best position to explain the benefits and drawbacks of at-home gonorrhea tests.

Benefits and Downsides of At-Home Gonorrhea Testing

Before ordering an at-home gonorrhea test, it may be helpful to consider the benefits and drawbacks of collecting samples at home.

Benefits of at-home gonorrhea testing include:

  • Availability: At-home gonorrhea testing is an accessible and convenient approach to screen for this common STD. Ordering an at-home test kit may be a good option when in-person testing isn’t available.
  • User-friendly: Test kits provide detailed instructions for collecting, packaging, and preparing samples for testing. Many test kits include free return shipping labels, simplifying the process of sending samples to a lab for analysis.
  • Upfront pricing: The total cost of an at-home gonorrhea test is typically straightforward and clear. In contrast, the cost of physician-ordered testing may include a variety of charges, from lab fees to health insurance copays.
  • Combining STD tests: Many at-home testing companies offer panels or packages of STD tests, allowing people to screen for a variety of STDs using the same test samples. This approach may save time and money and offer more comprehensive STD screening.

Potential drawbacks of at-home gonorrhea testing include:

  • May require follow-up: At-home gonorrhea testing allows individuals to self-collect test samples and mail them to a laboratory for NAAT testing. Other tests used to diagnose and understand a gonorrhea infection, such as bacterial cultures, are not available as an at-home test. A person’s doctor may recommend retesting to confirm positive test results or when another form of gonorrhea testing is more appropriate.
  • Not covered by insurance: While physician-ordered gonorrhea tests are often covered by a person’s health insurance, this is not usually the case for at-home test kits. Using an at-home gonorrhea test may mean paying out-of-pocket for STD testing.
  • Limited access to a doctor: Many companies offering at-home gonorrhea testing only connect people with a doctor in the case of positive test results. Consultations may be limited to discussing results and not address other health issues or concerns.
  • Delaying treatment: Doctors may recommend beginning treatment for the symptoms of gonorrhea before test results are available. In some cases, waiting for the results of an at-home gonorrhea test may delay the necessary treatment.

Types of At-Home Gonorrhea Tests

At-home gonorrhea tests are self-collection test kits, which provide the materials needed to gather a sample of urine or a swab from the genitals, throat, rectum, or another site of potential infection. Test results are typically available within a few business days after the laboratory receives the sample.

Several options are available for people interested in ordering an at-home gonorrhea test. Test kits vary based on the type of sample used for testing, the process by which the sample is obtained, and the services that are included in the cost of testing.

The following sections describe our top choices for at-home gonorrhea tests.

Best Overall
myLAB Box – 3-Site Chlamydia and Gonorrhea At Home Kit
Price: $179
Type: Self-collection
Sample: Oral swab, Anal swab, Urine
Tests for: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia
Results timeline: Within 2 to 5 days

The 3-Site Chlamydia and Gonorrhea At Home Kit from myLAB Box is our pick for best overall gonorrhea test. Of all the at-home gonorrhea tests we reviewed, this is the only one that detects both gonorrhea and chlamydia in three potential sites of infection: the throat, anus, and genitals.

Before collecting your three samples, be sure to thoroughly review the instructions within the test kit. Swabs of the throat and anus are used to detect oral and anal infections, while a sample of urine is used to detect a genital infection.

After each of your samples is collected and packaged, ship them to the laboratory in myLAB Box’s prepaid mailer. Each laboratory that works with myLAB Box is certified by CAP and CLIA, reflecting strict standards for quality assurance.

Secure results are available in 2 to 5 days. If your test results are positive, the company offers free consultation with a doctor who can provide a prescription and discuss the next steps for your treatment.

Best Membership Option
Everlywell – Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test
Price: $24.99 ($49 without membership)
Type: Self-collection
Sample: Urine
Tests for: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia
Results timeline: Within 5 to 7 business days

The Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test from Everlywell is our pick for best at-home gonorrhea testing with a membership option.

This test can be ordered through Control, Everlywell’s membership program for monthly at-home testing. As a member of Control, you receive a lab test of your choice each month and gain access to educational webinars and telehealth consultations.

The Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test looks for both of these common infections in one sample of urine. Test kits are shipped from Everlywell’s fulfillment warehouse within one business day after placing your order. The kit contains everything required to collect your sample, prepare it for testing, and send it to one of Everlywell’s CLIA-certified labs.

Test results are available within 5 to 7 business days once the laboratory receives your urine sample. After being notified by email that your results are ready, log in to Everlywell’s online platform to view your test report. For positive test results, Everlywell includes a free consultation with a doctor in your state who can discuss your test and provide medication if necessary.

Best Without Insurance
Health Testing Centers – Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Kit
Price: $79
Type: Self-collection
Sample: Urine
Tests for: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia
Results timeline: Within 3 to 4 business days

Our pick for the best at-home gonorrhea test for people not using insurance is the Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test Kit from Health Testing Centers. For one flat fee, you’ll receive everything you need to collect a urine sample and mail it to the lab for testing.

Collecting your sample is simple. Urinate into the collection cup provided in the kit, then use the pipette to transfer some of the urine into the collection tube. Seal the tube, place it in the provided biohazard bag, and package the sample for shipping. Note that the best time to obtain urine samples is first thing in the morning.

Within 3 to 4 days after the lab receives your test kit, you’ll get an email indicating that your results are ready. Just sign in to your account on the Health Testing Centers website and view or download your test report.

Fastest Results
iCARE – Gonorrhea Rapid Test Kit
Price: $49.95
Type: Self-test
Sample: Vaginal or Urethral swab
Tests for: Gonorrhea
Results timeline: 15 minutes

Our pick for the fastest at-home gonorrhea test is the Gonorrhea Rapid Test Kit from iCARE. This test looks for antigens on the bacteria that causes gonorrhea. Results are available just 15 minutes after completing the test.

The Gonorrhea Rapid Test Kit can be ordered online and comes with the supplies necessary to conduct gonorrhea testing completely at home, without having to see a doctor or wait for lab results. After reviewing the instructions provided in the kit, prepare the test materials on a flat surface.

Start the test by placing six drops of Buffer A into the mixing tube. Then collect a vaginal or urethral swab as described in the test instructions. Once your sample is collected, insert the end of the swab into the mixing tube containing the buffer and swirl it several times. Set your timer and leave the swab immersed for five minutes.

After five minutes, remove the swab from the mixing tube and add six drops of Buffer B to the tube. Secure the cap and swirl the tube to combine the contents. Using the micropipette, place four drops of the mixing tube contents into the well of the test device. After 15 minutes, results can be read according to the test kit’s instructions.

Because this gonorrhea test is performed at home from start to finish, it’s recommended to share your results with your doctor, who can offer advice for additional steps that may be needed to maintain your sexual health.

Interpreting At-Home Gonorrhea Test Results

When the results of at-home gonorrhea testing are available, the test report typically gives a positive or negative result.

Positive test results mean that the test detected the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and that the person has a gonorrhea infection. After a positive test result, it’s important to follow-up with a doctor to begin treatment and reduce the risk of additional symptoms and health complications. Positive test results also indicate the need for the testing and/or treatment of a person’s sexual partners.

Negative test results mean that the test did not detect the bacteria that causes gonorrhea. However, if a person has symptoms of gonorrhea but receives a negative test result, it’s important to follow-up with a health professional for tailored medical advice, including about whether additional tests are needed to confirm the result or check for other STDs.

Are test results accurate?

Although information about the accuracy of at-home gonorrhea testing is limited, initial research provides support for the use of self-collected test samples. Studies suggest that when samples are collected by a patient rather than a medical professional, the results of testing are no less accurate.

To improve the accuracy of test results, it’s important for individuals to talk to a doctor about preparing for a gonorrhea test. People may be advised to stop douching or applying vaginal creams for 24 hours prior to testing. For urine testing, pre-test guidelines may include not urinating for 1 to 2 hours before the urine sample is collected.

For questions or concerns about the accuracy of at-home gonorrhea tests, patients should talk to their doctor or the company providing the at-home test kit.

Do I need follow-up tests?

After receiving the results of an at-home gonorrhea test, additional follow-up testing may be needed. Follow-up testing depends on the test results, whether a patient has symptoms, and other factors.

Negative test results may require follow-up testing if a patient has symptoms of a gonorrhea infection. A doctor may recommend retesting for gonorrhea or performing tests for STDs and other health conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Even when follow-up testing is not recommended, a doctor can help to determine an appropriate schedule for STD testing.

Positive test results indicate the need for treatment and require follow-up with a doctor. Doctors may recommend another gonorrhea test to confirm the results of at-home testing.

Follow-up testing is also recommended after treatment for a gonorrhea infection. For most patients, this means being screened for gonorrhea and other STDs three months after completing treatment. Retesting is performed to ensure that a person isn’t reinfected by an untreated sexual partner.

In certain patients, including those diagnosed with a gonorrhea infection of the throat, follow-up testing may also be ordered to confirm that treatment was successful in curing the infection. This type of follow-up test is typically conducted 7 to 14 days after a person finishes treatment.

Questions for your doctor after at-home gonorrhea testing

After taking an at-home gonorrhea test, it may be helpful to bring questions about test results to a doctor for additional support and guidance. The following questions may be useful when talking to a doctor about at-home gonorrhea test results:

  • What does my test result mean about my health?
  • Is additional testing needed to confirm my test result?
  • How often should I be tested for gonorrhea?
  • Should I be tested for other STDs? How often?
  • Should I tell my sexual partners about my test results?

Related Tests

Comparing and contrasting laboratory and at-home gonorrhea testing

Gonorrhea tests, whether conducted at home or at a doctor’s office, use samples of urine or other body fluids to detect evidence of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These approaches to gonorrhea testing differ in several ways, including the method of sample collection and access to a medical professional.

When gonorrhea testing is performed by a physician or other medical professional, samples can be collected by either the patient or the provider. The provider is then responsible for careful preparation of the test sample for analysis. In contrast, users are responsible for proper sample collection and preparation when using an at-home test kit.

Although many at-home testing companies provide access to a medical professional in the case of positive test results, these consultations are typically limited to discussion of this individual test. When testing is performed by a medical professional, people have increased access to medical support and guidance related to their sexual health and overall wellness.

One of the most significant differences between physician-ordered and at-home test options is their established role in gonorrhea testing. While initial research suggests that the accuracy of these tests may be comparable, at-home test kits are still relatively new, and there are few guidelines for the appropriate use of at-home gonorrhea tests. Alternatively, physician-ordered testing has an established role in STD testing and allows doctors to choose the most appropriate type of gonorrhea test for a patient’s situation.

View Sources

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Gonorrhea. Updated March 28, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007267.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea: CDC fact sheet (basic version). Updated January 29, 2014. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Update to CDC’s treatment guidelines for gonococcal Infection, 2020. Updated December 17, 2020. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6950a6.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea: CDC fact sheet (detailed version). Updated July 22, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea-detailed.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retesting after treatment to detect repeat infections. Updated July 22, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/clinical-retesting.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonococcal infections among adolescents and adults. Updated July 29, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021.
https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/gonorrhea-adults.htm

Ghanem KG, Tuddenham S. Screening for sexually transmitted infections. In: Marrazzo J, ed. UpToDate. Updated December 4, 2020. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/screening-for-sexually-transmitted-infections

Ghanem KG. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection in adults and adolescents. In: Marrazzo J, ed. UpToDate. Updated September 17, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-and-diagnosis-of-neisseria-gonorrhoeae-infection-in-adults-and-adolescents

MedlinePlus: National Library of Medicine. Gonorrhea test. Updated December 3, 2020. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/gonorrhea-test/

Morris SR. Gonorrhea. Merck Manual Consumer Edition. Updated January 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/gonorrhea

Morris SR. Gonorrhea. Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Updated December 2020. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/gonorrhea

Qureshi S. Gonorrhea workup. In: Chandrasekar PH, ed. Medscape. Updated July 15, 2021. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218059-workup

Ask a Laboratory Scientist

Ask a Laboratory Scientist

This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.

Send Us Your Question