Risks and Complications Of Gonorrhea
Who Is At Risk For Gonorrea?
Everyone engaging in oral, anal or vaginal sex is at risk for contracting gonorrhea. The bacterial infection is particularly common among younger individuals, ages 15-24.
Although using a condom significantly decreases the risk of exposure and contraction, the bacteria can still move from infected bodily fluid to the skin around the genitals not covered by the condom, and into the bloodstream.
Having multiple sexual partners increases the risk of infection and if you are sexually active with multiple individuals, you should be using condoms every time you engage in intercourse.
Individuals with chlamydia or any other STD have a higher chance of contracting gonorrhea, as the body’s weakened immune system can often become compromised by more than one infection at a time.
Complications Of Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea should be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to prevent long term damage to various internal organs. An untreated gonorrhea infection can cause a variety of issues including:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (in women)
- Ectopic Pregnancies (A condition where the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube outside of the womb)
- Premature Birth
- Testicle Pain
- Infected Prostate Gland
- Infertility (inability to have offspring)
- Lasting Pelvic/Abdominal Pain
There is also a link between untreated gonorrhea and susceptibility to contracting the HIV virus. In rare cases, gonorrhea can spread throughout the body and cause a deadly infection or group of infections called septicaemia. So getting an early gonorrhea treatment advised to avoid getting the infection worse.
Gonorrea can be especially dangerous for pregnant mothers and put their unborn babies at risk for a variety of complications and infections. Gonococcal pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can pose a great threat to a women because the fallopian tube tissue can be damaged, making it impossible for a fertilized egg to pass through the uterus. Once a fertilized egg gets stuck in the fallopian tube, a life threatening condition called a Ectopic Pregnancy occurs that puts both the life of the unborn baby and mother at risk.