Nucleic acid hybridization test, DNA probe test, molecular probe test
This test looks for DNA of gonorrhea bacteria in a sample of bodily fluid.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This test is done on the body fluids collected from the affected areas, mostly the cervix, urethra, penis, or rectum.
The samples are sent to a special lab where millions of copies of the DNA are made. An advantage of this test is that it can tell gonorrhea bacteria from chlamydia bacteria. This is important because chlamydia and gonorrhea cause identical symptoms. Another advantage is the results from a DNA probe can be reported faster than tests that grow cultures to see if the bacteria are present.
You might have this test if your doctor suspects that you have gonorrhea. Symptoms of gonorrhea include:
Burning sensation during urination
You might also have this test as part of prenatal testing or as a screening if you are sexually active.
Your doctor may also order a rectal gonorrhea test if you're a woman and he or she suspects that you have genital gonorrhea. Oral and rectal cultures are also done on men and women who have engaged in oral or rectal intercourse.
Your doctor also might order a tissue biopsy or blood tests to confirm STDs. If the test results are positive, they should be repeated.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
Normal results are negative, meaning that the lab found no evidence of gonorrhea.
If you test positive for gonorrhea, you'll be started on treatment to cure the disease. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause severe reproductive and other health problems. Your sexual partners should be tested and treated as well.
This test requires a sample of bodily fluid. Your doctor will take the sample by inserting a sterile, cotton-tipped swab into the area to be tested and moving it from side-to-side to collect cells. Health care providers often ask for swabs from more than one site to be sure to find bacteria if they are present.
If you're a woman, you may use a vulvovaginal swab yourself or your doctor may use an endo-cervical swab. Men usually give a urine specimen.
If you are a woman, your test resulted could be affected by:
Having your period
Douching or tub bathing within 24 hours of testing
Using lubricants and disinfectants
If you are a man, your test results could be affected by:
Urinating within an hour of testing
Massaging the prostate
The presence of stool may contaminate cultures taken in the rectum. Also, antibiotics could affect your results.
You don't need to prepare for this test. But women shouldn't bathe or douche within 24 hours of testing. Men shouldn't urinate within an hour of testing. In addition, be sure your doctor knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.