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About Gonorrhoea Testing

Gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)

How soon after sex should I test for gonorrhoea?

The window period for gonorrhoea is 7 to 14 days. This is the time between coming into contact with gonorrhoea and when the test is able to detect it. 

If a sexual partner has let you know that you may have come into contact with gonorrhoea, or if you have symptoms that sound similar to gonorrhoea, don’t freak out. But it is a good idea to see a doctor, as they might decide to give you medicine straight away. A great list of doctors to go to can be found here, or you can visit your local sexual health clinic

How often should I test for gonorrhoea?

Usually, testing every 3 to 12 months is appropriate, depending on how much sex you’re having. A good general rule is to test closer to every 3 months the more active you are.

How does RAPID test for gonorrhoea?

RAPID uses a test that involves you collecting throat and rectal swabs and a urine sample. The test won’t work properly if you’ve passed urine within 60 minutes before collecting your urine sample. Usually, you’ll get your results by the next business day, sometimes the same day you come into the clinic.


The test looks for the gonorrhoea bacterium directly, so you don’t have to wait for your body to respond to it before you can test for it. But it will take about 7 to 14 days for there to be enough gonorrhoea in your body to detect, so wait at least this long to test if you believe you have recently come into contact with it.

I’ve very recently taken medicine for gonorrhoea. How long should I wait to test to see if the medicine worked (test of cure)?

Although the medicine will probably get rid of the gonorrhoea bacterium from your body, it can leave behind dead gonorrhoea cells. These dead cells can trick the test if you don’t give your body a chance to clear them. So it’s a good idea to wait at least 2 weeks after taking medicine before testing again to check that the gonorrhoea bacterium is gone.

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