What are chlamydia and gonorrhea?
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections spread through sexual contact— including anal, oral, or vaginal sex—as well as contact that doesn’t involve penetration. Both STDs commonly appear in the throat, anus, penis, or vagina.
What are the symptoms?
Most people who have chlamydia or gonorrhea don’t show any symptoms—and if they do, the symptoms can appear either very quickly or within a few weeks.
But—and this is important—you don’t need to show symptoms to pass on chlamydia or gonorrhea. You also don’t need to show symptoms to get tested.
The list of symptoms for the two STDs chlamydia and gonorrhea are similar. Here are just a few:
- A burning sensation when you pee.
- Abnormal and/or discolored discharge from the penis or vagina.
- A sore throat after performing oral sex.
- Abnormal discharge, pain, and/or bleeding in the rectum.
- Abnormal swelling in the testicles and/or scrotum.
- Pain while ejaculating.
If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away to get tested and treated.
How do I get tested?
There is no reliable blood test that can detect the presence of chlamydia or gonorrhea, which means samples must be taken from the parts of your body that you have sex with. Tell your doctor about every part of your body that may have come in contact with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or any other STD. If you had oral sex, make sure your doctor swabs your throat. If you bottomed for anal sex, that means a swab of your anus—and so on. Although there is a swab test for the penis, your doctor will most likely test a sample of urine. However, urine tests do not detect infection of chlamydia or gonorrhea in your throat or anus.
To be absolutely certain, ask your doctor about 3-site testing, which uses samples from your throat, penis, and anus to test for STDs.
When should I get tested?
Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing is often performed together, since people who have one infection often test positive for the other. Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be performed soon after suspected exposure, yet the most accurate test results are generally two to three weeks after exposure.