Causes Risk Factors Gonorrhoea

The Clap

Facts about gonorrhea
Commonly known as 'the clap' gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae (first identified in 1879). Gonorrhea is easily spread as women are often not aware that they have this sexually transmitted disease.

Every year about 600,000 cases are reported in the USA, although this is probably a gross underestimation of the actual number of people with the disease.

There are about 200 million cases of gonorrhea worldwide.

Causes and risk factors in gonorrhea (the clap)

  • The incidence of gonorrhea is highest in high-density urban areas among young people under 24 year of age who have multiple sex partners and engage in unprotected sexual intercourse.

  • Gonorrhea infections are 1.5 times more common in men than in women

  • Although gonorrhea is normally a sexually transmitted disease there is some evidence to suggest that it can be carried by pubic lice and that these can be picked up from objects such as lavatory seats.

  • Gonorrhea is usually passed on through vaginal and anal sex.

  • Oral contact does not often pass on gonorrhea usually by fellatio rather than cunnilingus.

  • The bacterium loves the warm, moist linings of the mouth, rectum, vagina and the urethra.

  • Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired.

  • Gonorrhea can be passed on from the mother to her baby during birth.
  • Article updated January 2006

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