Inman (csinman) wrote in little_details,

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Gonorrhea (post contains links to adult/disturbing content)

I'm looking for really toe-curling, in-depth description here, and while I can find excellent symptom lists, they're missing a few details.

The character I'm cursing with the clap is male. Here's my shopping list:
  • How often does the penis exude the discharge? Is it a slow, continuous ooze or does it come out periodically?
  • In the case of developing ulceration (you probably do NOT want to look, but that's what I'm talking about), how does it start? Does it blossom out from one small point or does it develop on an entire patch of skin all at once?
  • Is urination painful the entire time, or is it like a bladder infection, in which the pain often seems to be gone until mid-stream or even until urination is complete?
  • I'm curious about folk remedies, especially those likely in a medieval setting.

Regarding the last, I've made a list of the treatments I already found:
"A warm liquid of the gummy sap [of the balsam fir] was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhea." - Littleflower's Medicine of North America

This site lists milkweed, but doesn't describe the specific application.

The CRC Handbook of Alternative Cash Crops by James A. Duke, Judith L. DuCellier lists okra's green pods as a treatment for gonorrhea, but doesn't describe how they are applied.

I assume they would have tried bleeding, but then again, I don't know--I couldn't find anything that specific. If you can, please weigh in!

"During the Middle Ages, mercury salts were taken by mouth or rubbed on syphilitic lesions"... - Evelyn Zamula; FDA Consumer, Vol. 20, April 1986 (Found on Questia, so I can't read the whole thing. However, according to, Middle Ages physicians often misunderstood gonorrhea as one of the first stages of syphilis, so it's probable this would apply.)

And a nifty tidbit I found in case it was useful to anyone else: According to this document, "Only since the seventeenth century has it become clear to doctors that the substance emitted by the patient afflicted with Gonorrhea[sic] is pus and not semen."

I've checked Wikipedia, the CDC, and the little_details community tags, specifically stds and medicine: misc. I also Googled: gonorrhea, gonorrhea symptoms, gonorrhea story, have gonorrhea, had gonorrhea, gonorrhea folk remedy, gonorrhea medieval treatment, gonorrhea + middle ages...

If anyone reading this had personal experience and was brave enough to lend me their answers, they could certainly just tell me they asked their friend, and I'd assume it was true because who needs to lie on the Internet? :) These hypothetical people could e-mail me hypothetical answers at csinmanPIKACHU at gmail dot com, without the PIKACHU.
Tags: ~medicine: historical, ~medicine: illnesses (misc), ~middle ages

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