Your doctor may suspect gonorrhea based on your symptoms, sexual history and the results of physical and gynecological examinations. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis of gonococcal infection by swabbing the affected area (urethra, cervix, rectum, pharynx) and sending the sample to a laboratory for culture (a test to see if bacteria grow) and special testing to detect genetic material in the gonorrhea bacteria. Specimens also can be taken from infected joint fluid or blood.
Gonorrhea infections rapidly improve with antibiotic therapy. In about 15% of infected women, untreated gonorrhea spreads to the fallopian tubes, where it can cause scarring and infertility.