You’ve got the clap. But you’re not exactly sure what the clap is outside of it being an STD – and no one wants one of those. We’re going to delve a little deeper into this STD to try and determine what exactly it is and the proper medical term for this condition.
What Is The Official Definition Of The Clap?
This is a bacterial infection that is one of the oldest known STDs in history, and the root cause of the clap is the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
Reading this name, you’ll also find what most people know the clap by: gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea and the clap are one in the same. This is a common STD/STI that is diagnosed in more than 3 million people per year and is rather short-term, resolving itself within just days or weeks in most cases.
Why Is Gonorrhea Called the Clap?
We don’t get to talk much about how a disease gets its name, or in this case, its nickname. Many people refer to gonorrhea by one of two other names:
- The Clap
- The Drip
And no one is 100% positive why this disease is called the clap. What we do know is that there are some major theories that point to the name’s origination, but since gonorrhea has been around for centuries, these are just theories and not 100% fact.
Theory 1: “Clapier”
Prostitutes have been known to spread disease, especially in the old days when hygiene wasn’t as much of a priority, and sanitation and protection against diseases was less prevalent. The word “Clapier” is derived from French, and in French, this word means: brothels.
The word could also mean: rabbit’s nest or hutch.
And if there is one thing that we know for sure, it’s that rabbits have an intense sex drive. Going off of this information, it can be assumed that “the clap” comes from “the clapier,” a place where STDs may be far more common.
The disease itself also came to be known as “clapier bubo.” The “bubo” refers to an infection of the groin.
Theory 2: A Scary Treatment
As any man knows, the penis is rather sensitive. One theory is that men used to “clap” their hands together on the penis to try and get rid of any pus or discharge that was left. We don’t recommend any men actually try this treatment.
Theory 3: “Clappan”
The final theory comes from the word “clappan.” An English word, clappan can be defined as: to beat or to throb. Gonorrhea is known to provide a burning and painful sensation as well as throbbing, so it would make sense for someone to describe the pain as a clappan or throb.
In truth, all of these theories truly do not matter because doctors can properly treat this STD no matter the name.
Fact: “The Drip” is a nickname given to gonorrhea because of the visual discharge associated with the STD.
What Causes the Clap STD?
The Clap, or gonorrhea, is caused by all matters of sexual intercourse:
And if you’re pregnant and have gonorrhea, you’ll want to get treated prior to delivery. Mothers can give the clap to their child during labor or even when nursing. It’s important that if you have any of the symptoms of the clap, you seek medical attention to first get tested followed and then get proper treatment from a medical professional.
Studies show that men only have a 20% risk of infection from having just one session of vaginal sex with a woman who is infected.
Women have a much higher chance of getting gonorrhea, with a 60% – 80% rate of infection.
If you have protected sex, there is a much lower risk of contraction. While some reports state that the disease has been transmitted through contact with objects, this is very rare (if not implausible in some circumstances).
The Clap Symptoms
Men or women who fear that they have the clap will want to look for the symptoms and signs of this disease.
These symptoms vary between women and men, so they need to be viewed separately:
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
- Discharge from the penis (yellowish)
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Women
- Frequent urination
- Yellow discharge
- Swelling of the genitals
And it’s very important to note that the majority of women will not experience any symptoms when they have gonorrhea. As a result, many women will transmit the disease unknowingly to both newborns and partners.
Painful or swollen testicles is less common, but can occur in a man, while women may have a swollen vagina.
A burning sensation may be experienced when urinating. Some women have also experienced bleeding between periods on rare occasions.
Anal itching or painful bowel movements can happen in both men and women as well as soreness.
Getting Tested for the Clap
The symptoms above can be the result of several different STDs, and the only way to know with 100% certainty if you have gonorrhea or any other STD/STI is to get tested.
And if you do have the clap, it’s important to know that you can find treatment and be cured.
Getting tested is rather routine, and there are private clinics that will test you on an confidential basis so that no one else needs to know that you have been tested for an STD that you may or may not have.
Testing is typically done by:
- Urine Sample: A urine sample will suffice in most cases. Urine samples may not always be possible, so you’ll need to consult with your physician or testing center.
- Swabs: Oral or anal swabs will be required if you believe you have gonorrhea in the throat or rectum. Swabs will be tested for the presence of the bacteria. Swabbing of the urethra or cervix may also be done.
Quick and painless, testing for gonorrhea is nothing to be afraid of, and the results of your test are available in a week in most cases.
Treating the Clap
Since the clap is a bacterial infection, it can be cured with a round of antibiotics. You never want to take just any antibiotic if you’re pregnant since some antibiotics have been shown to cause development issues or concerns in children.
With that said, treatment is normally fast and works very well.
If you’re given treatment, you’ll need to return to your doctor after finishing the treatment and be retested. A retest is done to ensure that the entire infection has cleared up. Anyone that is eager to have intercourse following treatment will want to wait seven days before having sex again.
Even after you’ve been treated for gonorrhea, you can contract the disease at any time.
It’s not uncommon for sexual partners to continually transmit the disease among each other because they have both not been treated at the same time. You will want to undergo treatment along with your partner(s) to ensure that you do not spread the disease any further.
While gonorrhea is not life-threatening, if you fail to seek proper treatment, you may suffer long-term complications, such as abdominal pain, infertility, ectopic pregnancy or even the development of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes.