Why is gonorrhea called the clap?

Why is Gonorrhea called the clap?

Gonorrhea is one of the oldest sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium of the similar name. It can happen to both men and women. In men, the symptoms involve discharge of yellowish liquid substance from penis causing itching and burning.

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In women, it leads to burning or itching sensation and frequent urination, yellowish vaginal discharge along with redness and swelling of genitals. It gives a sensation and urge to pee but nothing comes out in real causing swelling and redness. However, more than half of women suffering with Gonorrhea may not see any symptoms and discover it at later stage when it spreads to other body parts and increases complications.

Gonorrhea is also known as ‘The clap’ or in other words, clap is actually euphemism for Gonorrhea. There are several theories surrounding as to why it is called a clap. This post will cover those theories which somewhere relates as to why Gonorrhea is called as clap!

  1. First Theory:

    This is a widely known theory and relates with the name but it doesn’t sound so good and appropriate! You will too agree after you read it completely! It is believed that to treat the infection of Gonorrhea, some heavy object or book or a slap was slammed down the penis to remove the accumulated discharge in one go. It was believed that clapping hands on both sides of penis could forcefully expel the pus and cure the infection.
    Why is gonorrhea called the clap: first theory
    It is hard to believe as it involves smashing of something hard against the most delicate organ of the body but that is what the theory says! Thus, clap refers to smashing something to treat this disease! Although, recent studies believe that it was not actually clap but it meant washout of the urethra with a big syringe. And it is also said that this treatment was not for faint hearted as it involved lot of pain because earlier treatments were not so painless!

  2. Second Theory:

    It is believed that clap word is originated from French word called ‘clapier’ which means brothel! Since it is sexually transmitted disease it is believed that brothels were prime reason of its spread. If some of you are not aware of what brothels is then brothel is a term to refer to building where prostitutes are available!
    Why is gonorrhea called the clap: second theory
    The culture of paid sex is believed to have its roots in Europe and one of the causes of this disease is having multiple sex partners.It is said to have originated during war times when large concentration of men with low wages fell for the side effect of prostitution. Attempts to ban brothels and distribution of condoms too were proved to be ineffective! Lack of needles and poor sterilization failed government’s initiative of betterment of public health and this is how this went on spreading its roots indefinitely!

  3. Third theory:

    There is an old English word ‘clappan’ which means to beat or to throb. Since Gonorrhea produces painful sensation down in the pelvis, it is associated with clappan.
    Why is gonorrhea called the clap: third theory
    The pain it generates is not less than the sensation as if somebody is beating up badly! So clappan is shortened to form ‘clap’.

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  5. Fourth theory:

    This one is little vague but is also prevalent! It is again related to the world war times! It is believed that during the war times, Gonorrhea was spread across all army person of United States commonly known as GIs. The doctor staff of the army camps kept a code word to term someone having this disease.
    Why is gonorrhea called the clap: fourth theory
    They used to refer the person suffering from Gonorrhea as having the collapse. It is termed that somebody overheard this word or the bastardized form of word collapse is what is called as ‘clap’.There are some Roman theories which describe this disease as the one which is most easily spread, most lightly considered and most difficult to cure. The authors have also mentioned it as a penalty for prostitution.

Ignorance is not bliss for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea’s initial stage is discharge from penis but as it spreads it can cause inflammation in pelvis, joints, eyes and heart valves too! Also, it was believed that the antibiotics can treat it completely but in 2010, a resistant form of Gonorrhea was reported and the research is still going on to come up with strong antibiotic to treat it.

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So the perception that it can be treated completely with antibiotics can prove to be wrong if the cause is this latest resistant form. In either of the case, it is always advisable and recommended with emphasize to visit a specialist and get done with complete examination. The clap is back is what is believed! Any ignorance can prove to be harsh for the health of you and your partner!

Gonorrhea. Syringe and vaccine with drugs.

If you don’t get it examined then it will spread to your partner as it is highly contagious and is sexually transmitted which can also infect the baby through the birth canal. So it is significant to get it examined and take necessary precautions. We have discussed the theories as to why it is called as the clap but there is no need for you to try the clap treatment in this era. This is because we have more advanced and researched means to initiate the treatment.

These theories relate to the times when medical advancements were still in development and testing phase but now the times have changed and thus it is wise to get it examined by an expert doctor so as to avoid the spread of this dreadful disease.

On a concluding note…

As a humble opinion, none of the theories are as shocking and entertaining as the actual clapping theory. But on a serious note and no laughing matter, gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection so you can’t build any sort of immunity to it. You have to take the prescribed drugs over and over and gradually bacteria outlive the medication and become resistant to the treatment. There are not much antibiotics in pipeline and thus it is important to:

  • Make smart choices
  • Take precautions
  • Protect yourself
  • Talk to your partner
  • Talk to your doctor about getting tested

There is nothing to shy in figuring out as to how to deal with the clap STD!

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