gonorrhea clap symptoms history std test sti testing sexual health

Gonorrhea, get the facts! A historical overview.

June 24, 2018

Gonorrhea, otherwise known as the ‘clap’ is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s discovery dates back to 1879, where the scientist Albert Neisser discovered the bacterial strain gonococcus. The nickname “clap” however is believed to have originated from the French term “clapier” meaning brothel, where the disease was thought to have been most widely spread. Not only were brothels to blame, but sailors too, who would travel from port-to-port spreading the clap far and wide.

Back then, current treatments clearly had yet been found. So what was the standard treatment during this time? Mercury shots. Yes, Mercury! Although mercury has been found to pertain antibacterial properties, the concern mainly lied around its tendency to vaporize at room temperature when in liquid form. Vaporised mercury is especially dangerous because when inhaled, it is easily absorbed by the body, into the lungs and from the lungs into the blood and to the brain. This can lead to sleep disorders, agitation, a decline in cognitive function, and muscle atrophy.

In the 20th century, bacteriologist Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin. This would usher in a new form of treatment eliminating the need for Mercury. To date, patients diagnosed with Gonorrhea are likely to be prescribed two antibiotics: ceftriaxone and either azithromycin or doxycycline.

Typically, symptoms of Gonorrhea begin to show a week following transmission. So, what are the common symptoms of Gonorrhea in men?

  • Greater frequency of urination.
  • White, yellow, beige or greenish pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis.
  • A persistent sore throat.
  • Pain in the testicles.

Many women don’t develop any obvious symptoms and Gonorrhea can commonly be mistaken for common vaginal yeast or bacterial infections. In women the symptoms of Gonorrhea include?

  • Discharge from the vagina.
  • Heavier periods.
  • A sore throat.
  • Sharp pain in the lower abdomen.
  • The need to frequently urinate.

Gonorrhea, like chlamydia, if left untreated can cause infertility in both men and women. So it’s important that you guys stay in control of your sexual health and get checked on the regular.

Especially if you think it’s time to settle down and find a new partner.

Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.

If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.

Don’t risk your health!


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