The Incidence and Epidemiology of Gonorrhea in Teenagers

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Introduction: Incidence

Gonorrhea is a swelling of mucous membrane surfaces produced by a sexually transmitted bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae also referred to as gonococcus. Almost any mucous membrane can be contaminated through this disease. About three out of four accounted cases of gonorrhea in the United States occur in people less than 30 years of age. The highest rates of infection often are there in 15- to 19-year old women and 20- to 24-year-old men. (Medline Plus)

Spread of the Disease

The disease proliferates through semen or vaginal fluids during unguarded sexual contact, both heterosexual and homosexual, with a contaminated partner. The more sexual partners one has, the greater the risk. An infected pregnant woman also can pass gonorrhea to her baby during delivery. Non-sexual contact, such as kissing, does not spread the disease.

In women, the opening to the uterus, the cervix, is the first place of infection. The disease can extend into the uterus and fallopian tubes, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease PID, which affects more than 1 million women in this country every year and can set off tubal (ectopic) pregnancy and infertility in approximately 10 percent of infected women. (Medline Plus)

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