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Risk Factors of Gonorrhoea Infection

Image: Property of Deempirex Blog
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that is sometimes refered to as "the clap" and/ or colloquially referred to as "gono". Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. It is a very common infection especially among young adults.

Gonorrhoea is primarily transmitted from an infected person to another through any form of unprotected intercourse. Gonorrhoeal infection present such clinical manifestations as;
  • lower abdominal or pelvic pain,
  • Odourous discharge,
  • Pain and/ or burning sensation during urination,
  • Itching and genital irritation,
  • Bleeding during and/ or after pareunia,
  • Heavy menstrual flow, etc.
Prolonged gonorrhoeal infection can lead to such medical complications as,
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),
  • Ophthalmia neonatorun,
  • Epididymitis,
  • Ectopic pregnancy,
  • Miscarriage,
  • Infertility and/ or sterility,
  • Endometritis,
  • Arthritis, etc.
Gonorrhoea can infect both men and women alike, and it can cause mild to severe infection of the genital tracts (of both men and women) rectum, throat and the eyes. In females, gonorrhoea can also infect the uterine cervix.

What is a Risk Factor?
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances of developing or getting a disease. It is important to note that having a risk factor does not necessarily mean that he/ she will develop the disease. This is because risk factors does not cause the disease, rather they help or promote the possibilities of getting or contracting it. Sometimes, people who do not have risk factors still develop it. Generally, the more risk factors a person have, the higher the tendency for him/ her to develop or contract the infection or disease.

Risk factors of gonorrhoea
The risk factors of gonorrhoeal infection are the factors which increases a person's chances of developing or contracting the disease. These factors do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some or many ways to the disease. Having a risk factor of gonorrhoea makes the chances of getting the disease higher, but it should be noted that, it does not always lead to the disease.

Men have about 20% chance of contracting gonorrhoea from an  unprotected intercourse with an infected female, while women have about 60 - 80% chance of being infected from a single unprotected coition with an infected male. An infected pregnant woman can transmit the gonorrhoeal infection to her newborn during childbirth. When the eyes are infected, it is called ophthalmia neonatorun. Below are some of the risk factors which are specific to gonorrhoea.

Being coitally active
Just being coitally active is enough to contract gonorrhoea. Anyone who engages in active pareunia is at risk of been exposed to gonorrhoea or any other STIs. The highest rates of reported gonorrhoeal infections are among coitally active young adults.

Having multiple partners
Having multiple partners increases your chances of contracting or getting gonorrhoea infection. The more pareunia partners you have, the more prone you become to the disease or the higher your chances of getting infected with gonorrhoea or any other STIs. At such, you would not be able to trace the origin of such infections; should you be infected. There is also an increased tendency of spreading the infection to the other parners who may otherwise be free of the disease.

Having unprotected intercourse
Having unprotected intercourse increases your chances of contracting gonorrhoeal infection or any other STIs. Most times, mere non coital contact places you at a very high risk of contracting STIs. Although the use of condoms or other barriers reduces the risk of spreading and/ or contracting the gonorrhoea, it is important to note that; improper or inconsistent use of protections can also increase your chances of contracting STIs.

Drugs and intercourse
The use of alcohol and/ or other recreational drugs can increase your chances of getting or contracting gonorrhoeal infection or any other STIs. This is because such illicit drugs can impede or inhibits your judgement, thereby making you participate in and/ or do things such as; group pareunia, unprotected intercourse, rape, drug and coition and other vices which naturally or ordinarily you wouldn't do.

Age/ being young
Age is another potent factor that often determines one chances of contracting gonorrhoea. Being young is a strong and/ or salient predictor of your chances of contracting gonorrhoea or any other STIs. In a survey conducted among a population of young adults, it was discovered that; adolescents have a higher chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, etc.  when compared to older people.

Some more factors which may increase your chances of getting or contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are;
  • Prostitution,
  • Drug (illicit or illegal) or substance abuse,
  • Use of birth control pills without using protection,
  • Low economic status,
  • Race or ethnicity,
  • New and unscreened partner(s),
  • Having high risk partners,
  • Engaging in pareunia at an early age,
  • Inconsistent or improper use of condoms,
  • Homosexuality,
  • Bestiality,
  • Alcoholism,
  • Rape or abuse,
  • Having other STIs, etc.

Gonorrhoeal infection or any other STIs can be prevented by:
  1. Abstinence, abstaining totally or completely from any form of pareunia activities is the best and safest way to preventing gonorrhoeal infection.
  2. Use of protection properly and consistently will help to reduce and/ or prevent gonorrhoeal infection.
  3. Maintaining a single partner who is not infected is one of the safest prevention method of gonorrhoeal infection. Each time you have a new partner, you are exposed and you put your partner(s) at risk.
  4. If you and/ or your partner(s) are/ is experiencing an unusual symptoms, get tested. And if already infected, avoid (stop) coition until treatment is complete for you and your partner(s).
  5. Have your partner(s) tested, always endeavour to find out whether your partner(s) has been tested for STIs, basically gonorrhoea. If not, ask if he/ she would be willing to get tested and encourage such person(s) to go for Screening before having sex.

See a Doctor
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that is transmitted from an infected person to another through any form of unprotected intercourse. Are you experiencing any or some of the Signs and symptoms of gonorrhoea stated above?, then it is time to see a doctor. Are you having lower abdominal pain? Feeling pain or burning sensation during urination? Are you having Odorous discharge? Are you experiencing tiredness? Are you experiencing bleeding during or after pareunia? having any sores around your genitals? Are you experiencing an unusually heavy Menstrual flow? are you feeling malaise, intense itching and irritation around your genitals or feeling this general body weakness for reasons you can not possibly explain. Make an appointment with your doctor get yourself checked, tested and treated.
Image: Property of Deempirex Blog
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