The lady's physician: A practical treatise on the various disorders incident to the fair sex. ... Written originally in French, by M. Tissot, ... Translated by an eminent physician.
Firſt Phyſician to the Queen of France, and Fellow of the Royal Society of London; Member of the Medico-Phyſical Society of Baſil, and of the Oeconomical Society of Berne, and Author of Advice to the People concerning their Health.
THE Author of this Work, beſides the Emolument that every Practitioner has a Right to expect from his Profeſſion, had another Motive to encourage him to the completion thereof; to wit, a humane and Chriſtian Concern with which he had been long actuated for the Welfare of the Fair, whoſe delicate Frames are too often a Prey to Diſeaſes, which, through the Decrees of Providence, peculiar [Page 2] to their Sex, yet, through a miſtaken Modeſty, they are loth to declare, and apply for Succour, from thoſe duly qualified, to relieve them.
They are here provided with the moſt rational, yet eaſy Inſtructions, as well as with the moſt ſelect and approved of Recipes, either to prevent in Time, or cure themſelves of, when, through careleſſneſs, or any other cauſe they are ſurpriſed with, any of thoſe Diſtempers particular to their own Sex, but unknown to the other.
Moſt Males, young or old, make little, or rather, no ſcruple, of unfolding any complaint they may labour under, to a Phyſician, Surgeon, or Apothecary; while young Females, except abandoned Proſtitutes, and many even of thoſe more advanced in Years, through innate Modeſty, an almoſt invincible Baſhfulneſs; and a being reſerved in the Extreme to the great Detriment of their health, by the ridiculous concealment of a beginning Diſtemper, ſuffer a kind of petty Martyrdom to miſunderſtood Notions of Virtue, which are conſequently the cauſe of their health and conſtitution being ruined, and of their manifeſtly pining away, though all around them can aſſign no Reaſon; and no [Page 3] Diſorder of the Fair Sex is made ſuch a deſtructive Myſtery of, as that which ſhall take the lead here; to wit,
UNTIL the Age of Puberty, (that is, of being capable to propagate the Species) which varies in different Nations, being earlier in the Southern Climes, and later in the Northern, young Males and Females are indiſcriminately liable to the ſame Diſtempers; nor before that critical Period of Life, is there any ſexual Difference; the Cauſe of this Difference, the firſt of that Claſs, which, on Account of its being the Fore-runner and fruitful Source, whence all others are derived, that in an eſpecial Manner, afflict the more amiable Part of Society, muſt afford us ample Matter of Admiration, as will obviouſly appear to all who, in a philoſophical or Chriſtian Light, ſhall conſider this eſſential Evacuation.
The Womb of a Female being deſigned by Nature for the firſt Receptacle and Nurſery of the yet unborn Being, is, after a certain revolutionary Period of Life, irrigated with an extraordinary Quantity of Blood, at ſtated Times; by which means the Veſſels are uſed to open and diſtend themſelves for the more eaſy Admiſſion of the [Page 4] Monthly Tide, which when, by a kindly Diſcharge is decreaſed of its ſuper-abounding Quantity, the ſtretched Veſſels recover their due Spring, and return the reſt to the general Courſe of Circulation.
Nature's Intent, by this Proceſs, is, that after Impregnation, ſuch encreaſing Quantities of the Blood, derived to the Womb, are to ſupply Nutriment to the Foetus; who, when brought forth, is ſupported by Milk from the Breaſts, of which the redundant Blood, then diverted from the Womb to thoſe Parts, becomes the nouriſhing Fountain.—While Things are thus carried on in their due Courſe, all goes right; but as from every Deviation ſome new Malady ariſes, and indeed directly or indirectly all thoſe with which the Sex is peculiarly affected: and that we may progreſſively follow them, we have fixed our Choice to begin with the menſtrual Diſcharge, that is perverted either by its Obſtruction, or an extraordinary Efflux, in a more or leſs violent Degree.
IS cauſed in young Females either by too great a Conſiſtence, Viſcidity, or Sizineſs of the Blood, which cannot force its [Page 5] Way into the ſmaller Veſſels, to be thro' them emptied to a certain Degree; or elſe is owing to too great a Compactneſs in the Fibres of the Womb, whoſe ſecretory Orifices, or little Mouths are too cloſely compreſſed to yield Admiſſion to any Ingreſs of the Blood, and conſequently preventative of ſalutary Evacuations. In either Caſe, the Blood's Eſcape being debarred, its return into the general Circulation, on account of its augmented Quantity, makes offenſive Lodgments on many Parts, through their Weakneſs rendered more liable to yield; and prove dangerous in Proportion to the Parts affected being more or leſs eſſential to Life.
This Diſtemper is ever attended with an Unwillingneſs to Action, an Heavineſs of Mind, a Paleneſs of Complexion. Pains are felt both in the Groin and Loins, with a Difficulty of breathing; cold Sweats, hyſteric and fainting Fits, &c. There enſues a total Depravation of all the Functions of the Body. Nay, ſuch hath often been the dreadful Effect of the Diſcharge not being able to make its Way through the proper Outlets, as to force for itſelf an unnatural, violent, and perilous Egreſs, through the Anus, or Fundament, the Bladder, Breaſts, Eyes, Ears, &c.
The Bowels are wont to ſuffer prodigiouſly in ſuch Patients, and in general, more [Page 6] outrageouſly, as their Conſtitution is more delicate.—Hence what a Train of Maladies ariſe, particularly every Species of a depraved Appetite, as is made manifeſt by unnatural, and often offenſive Longings, too well known to need being mentioned here.
Beſides the above aſſigned inherent Cauſes of this Diſeaſe, whether in the too compact Structure of the Womb, or the too great Sizineſs obſtructive to its eſcaping by the emiſſary pores; the following, which we may call external or adventitious ones, are not to be neglected, but rather ſeriouſly attended to; ſuch are the improper Uſe of aſtringent Remedies; of acids; and whatever may cauſe a Spiſſitude in the Humours; too incraſſating a Diet; that is, Nouriſhment which thickens the Blood too much. A Suppreſſion of the menſtrual Diſcharge is ſometimes cauſed by too great an Evacuation of the Blood from a Wound, or otherwiſe; it being thence rendered too weak to force its Way by the Womb. It is alſo cauſed by any ſudden Terror, obſtinate Grieving, a violent Cold, &c.
IN general, where too great an Evacuation of Blood, or Weakneſs of the Patient's Conſtitution, is not ſuppoſed to be [Page 7] the leading Cauſe, it is proper the Patient ſhould undergo a gentle Bleeding, in order to make Way for the Remedies operating more effectually; and during the Courſe of taking them, to receive frequently the Steam of Camomile Flowers that had been boiled in Water, by the Means of a conveying Tube, or Funnel, through a certain Part, to play upon the Inſertion of the Womb, in order to ſoften its Texture, in eaſe the Suppreſſion ſhould be owing to the Toughneſs of its Structure.
But ſhould there appear to be a ſtagnating Vice; that is, an Unwillingneſs to flow in the Blood, a Spur muſt be given to its Lazineſs, by Fomentations, ſuch as the above, accompanied with frequent Exerciſe, diluting Drinks, ſuch as Tea, Whey, or a pleaſant and wholeſome Liquor, that may be made by infuſing the Rinds of Oranges, Citrons, and Lemons, in Spring Water, till it ſhall have acquired an agreeable Taſte from them.
Then take the following Pills for ſome Time; to wit, Venetian Soap—Borax— Aloes—one Drachm each, to be made into Pills; each Pill to confiſt of three Grains; four Pills to be taken every Day; one a little after the Patient riſes in the morning, and ſome Time before her Breakfaſt; another about an Hour, or at leaſt Half an Hour before Dinner; a third at about the [Page 8] ſame Diſtance before Tea-Time in the Evening; the fourth is to be taken on going to Bed.
Let the Patient ſeek all Occaſions of Exerciſe, of Merriment, and whatever may excite a Flow of Spirits. Some Time after the bleeding in the Arm, if Matters ſucceed not as may be wiſhed, then let a gentle Bleeding in the Foot take Place; and this Practice carefully followed for ſome Time, cannot fail of effectuating a Cure, where conſummate Weakneſs, an exhauſted Conſtitution, or other inſuperable Difficulties do not intervene.
AS a due Diſcharge of Blood by the Uterus every Month is an Inſurer of Health, ſo an extraordinary Efflux is the Harbinger of Sickneſs, and highly detrimental to the Conſtitution; becauſe it occaſions a Loſs of Strength, which is attended by other Symptoms; to wit, Crudities from Indigeſtion, a Loſs of Appetite, a Senſe of Oppreſſion in the Stomach, a ſickly Complexion, oftentimes a ſmall Encreaſe of Heat, a feeble Pulſe; a Swelling in the Feet, and a Reſtleſſneſs during the Time of Sleep.[Page 9]
The immoderate Flux of the menſtrual Diſcharge is effectuated in three different Manners: 1. By too plentiful and impetuous an Eruption at the uſual Period. 2. Sometimes by happening twice, or oftener, within the Space of a Month. 3. Sometimes by continuing ſeveral Days longer than they were wont to flow. The Cure to be obtained, is a reſtraining of the preſent Flux, and keeping a future one within due Bounds. For this purpoſe let the Patient reſt, as long as convenient to her Situation of Life, in Bed upon her Back, and as much as poſſible let her avoid ſpeaking. According as ſhe is ſtrong or weak, and concurring Circumſtances will allow, let her blood in the Arm. Care ſhould be taken that no ſtrict Ligatures be ſuffered on any Part of her Body, as by means of Garters, Sleeve-buttons, &c. which are very prejudicial. Let the Patient's Diet be ſlender, and conſiſt chiefly of Veal, Chickenbroths, Fiſh-ſoups; let her conſtant Drink be Ptiſan of Plantane, Yarrow, and Nettletops, into which, by way of giving it a Zeſt, put ſome Orange-peel, or of the greater Comfrey; but put in Linſeed, if ſhe be of a hot and bilious Temperament.
In Caſes where theſe Remedies do not ſucceed, then Recourſe muſt be had to the following preſcribed by Dr. Mead, as a more efficacious one: "Take one Ounce [Page 10] of burnt Alum, one quarter of an Ounce of Dragon's Blood, which reduce to a Powder; to thoſe of weakly Conſtitutions let there be given from fifteen Grains to twenty; to thoſe of middling, from twenty to twenty-five; to thoſe of a ſtrong Habit, thirty Grains in a Glaſs of red Wine, diluted with an equal Quantity of warm Water and to be taken three Times a Day."
In the more alarming Caſes of this Malady, the Womb, on account of its Orifice being in a quite relaxed State, may be ſyringed with a Decoction of Yarrow, red Roſes, Plantane, or with warm Water impregnated with the Powder of Roch-alum, or with Vinegar made warm.
THIS Malady is the running of a liquid Matter, from the private Parts of the female Sex, but ſtinks not like Ulcers, and is free from any infectious Taint. Its Colour is ſometimes white, ſometimes green, ſometimes yellow, &c. It is ſometimes of an acid Nature, and excoriates the Parts, ſometimes not. This Species of running is in general continued, but not copious. It is interrupted in ſome Patients, and returns either at irregular or ſtated Periods. [Page 11] It is in many a conſtant Forerunner of the menſtrual Diſcharge, and after that is over, re-appears for ſome Time.
The common Signs to diſtinguiſh the Whites from the venereal Flux or Clap, is, that in the latter Caſe the Diſcharge is more copious, and continues during the Times of the menſtrual Diſcharge; whereas the former ſuffers an Interruption: the Patient's Knowledge of her own Conduct muſt help to judge in this Caſe.
The Patients who labour under an uninterrupted Fluor Albus, or one that frequently returns, have a pale and ſwollen Countenance, a Diſtaſte for their wonted Aliments, a Loſs of Strength, frequent Pain about the Region of the Heart, beſides troubleſome Twitchings, and a ſinking Weakneſs of the Stomach.
Inaſmuch as this remote and fixed Cauſe of the Fluor Albus is in the Stomach, the ſetting that to rights is the ſureſt Way of performing a Cure. Let the Patient ſet off in the Beginning of the Diſorder, when not much enfeebled, by letting a little Blood from the Arm; and in a Day or two after, be puked with one Grain of Tartar Emetic; if young, and rather weak, with half an Ounce of Tincture of Hipecacuanha; but if at her full Growth, and of a ſtrong Habit of Body, let two Grains of Tartar Emetic be employed; and when it begins [Page 12] to operate, it is to be encouraged by drinking after each Effort ſome Camomile-tea. In a few Days after let her be purged with what ever purgative Medicine and Doſe ſhe may have been uſed to; but if not habituated to any, in caſe the Patient be young and weakly, let fifteen Grains of Jalap in Powders be taken in a Diſh of Tea, or Whey, or any other inoffenſive and weak Liquor warmed, to be alſo drunk from time to time, while the Medicines are operating, in order to encourage it.
After theſe Preludes to a Cure, the Patient muſt betake herſelf to a proper Regimen; that is, ſhe muſt ſhun all Ragouſts, Fruits, Salads, Confectionary-articles, Roots; and live chiefly on Rice, Beef, Mutton, Fowl, and all Sorts of Food that tend to ſtrengthen the Conſtitution. If denied either by the Place of her Abode, or of her Circumſtances, the means of procuring Ferrugineous Waters, ſhe may make an artificial one for herſelf, by boiling old pieces of ruſty Iron in Water, of which ſhe is to drink half a pint each Day, if young, and of a weakly Conſtitution; but if of a ſtrong Habit, and come to be full grown, then ſhe may drink a Pint, and every eight Days, for the firſt Month, repeat the above Purgative; in the ſecond, every fifteen Days; in the third Month let the Interval be of three Weeks; and once a Month afterwards [Page 13] for the Space of ſix, if the Malady ſhould perſevere.
Immediately ſubſequent to the firſt Purge, let her begin to take the following Remedies for a recent or inveterate State: 1. In the Commencement the Fluor Albus, and in as yet a not-emaciated Conſtitution; an Infuſion of Roſemary drunk every Day, in the manner, and in the room of Tea, has been often known to prevent its farther Progreſs; but when of a long ſtanding, and that it has reſiſted the commonly adviſed Remedies by female Friends, Goſſips, and Matron Adviſers, &c. Recourſe muſt be had to the following Remedy; "Take Extract of the Peruvian Bark, Nutmeg, Alum, of each one Scruple, and of Syrup of Clove a ſufficient Quantity, to make a Bolus of th [...]ſe Ingredients." Let the Patient begin by taking a very ſmall Quantity from the Tip or Edge of a Tea-ſpoon, and ſo continue for one Week, encreaſing it the next and following, but there ſhe is to ſtop where the Quantity may be found diſagreeable. In Caſes where a Weakneſs of the Back is perceived, let a ſtrengthening Plaiſter (to be had at any Apothecary's ſhop) be thereto applied.
Doctor Ruſſel adviſes for the Cure of an inveterate Fluor Albus, to bathe in the Seawater, and drink it. Thoſe who are ſituated near the Sea, may try; but ſince it [Page 14] has been known to fail in ſo many Caſes, it is not ſtrenuouſly inſiſted upon here, and frequent Exerciſe is preferable to it.
TO this Malady are ſubject Maids and Widows. It is attended with a ſlow, irregular, and almoſt imperceptible Fever. The Complexion of the Patient is diſcoloured, being ſometimes a ghaſtly pale, at other times livid, and not rarely greeniſh, with a Circle of a Violet Colour under the Eyes. They feel a conſtant Irkſomeneſs, and a Deſpondency without any apparent Cauſe: the Pulſe is ſmall, unequal, and variable; the Ancles and Eye-lids are apt to ſwell: the Face is bloated; a benumbing Dulneſs is diffuſed through the whole Body: in the Legs and Feet are felt a tenſive Laſſitude; ſuch Patients are alſo ſubject to a Palpitation of the Heart, racking Pains in the Head, and an inordinate Deſire of things totally unfit for nouriſhing the Body; to wit, Chalk, Coals, &c.
The Treatment in order to obtain a Cure, is to be commenced by a Purgative proportioned to the Patient's Strength, as may be gathered from our Directions in the Maladies already treated of. Then get, of Caſtile [Page 15] Soap, three Drachms; of Rhubarb in Powder half a Drachm; Filings of Steel, half a Drachm; Species of Hiera Picra, half a Drachm; with a ſufficient Quantity of Orange Peels made into an Electuary; of which the Patient, if young and weakly, is to take the Quantity of half a ſmall Tea Spoon full twice a Day; if grown up, and ſtrong, ſhe is to take, each Time, the Tea-Spoon full.
She is to eat nothing but wholeſome Food, and of eaſy Digeſtion, ſuch as the young of all Kinds of Animals, Fowls, &c. and to delight in much Exerciſe without continuing it to a weariſome Fatigue. Doctor Mead has adviſed, to take of the Tincture of Black Hellebore thirty Drops, two or three Times a Day; it ſometimes produces good Effects; and there is no Harm in trying it alternately, Day about, with the above Electuary, after the latter has been taken for the Term of a Week.
Mineral Waters, eſpecially of the ferrngineous or iron-Claſs, prove often very effectual in thoſe Diſorders, and may be drunk ſeveral Times in a Day in moderate Quantities, followed by ſome moderate Exerciſe immediately after. If the Diſtemper be cauſed by a Suppreſſion of the menſtrual Diſcharges, it is effectually removed by the Remedies that reſtore them. When [Page 16] a deep rooted Paſſion for a Male Object is the Cauſe, then Marriage with the Object beloved is the moſt powerful of all Specifics.
THIS Frenzy, or rather, libidinous Rage, all the Female Sex are liable to, not only Maids and Widows, but ſometimes even married Women, and eſpecially thoſe who are diſappointed in their conjugal Expectations. It is a continual and inſatiable Deſire of Copulation. All Regard to Decency is thrown aſide. It begins by a moroſe Silence, and an occaſional Sparkling of the Eyes. The Patient is kindled at hearing any obſcene or wanton Expreſſions, and her Pulſe beats tumultuouſly; ſhe alternately burſts into Fits of Weeping and Laughing. She ſoon bids adieu to Shame, and ſpeaks openly and boldly of every Part and Action from which Modeſty turns aſide. Unhappy Females, a Prey to this Curſe, become even ſo abandoned as to attempt to force Men to ſatisfy their luſtful Deſires.
This dreadful and calamitous Diſeaſe, is the moſt diſguſting and offenſive of all that invade the Female Sex (becauſe the like ſuffering State in the Males is not held ſo [Page 17] diſgraceful) owes its Origin to ſome remote, and to ſome immediate Cauſes. The remote are the reading obſcene Books, hearing immodeſt Diſcourſes, or the frequent Preſence of a lov'd Object without proceeding to the laſt Favour. A natural Diſpoſition of the Body, Time of Life, Manner of Living; for it is always obſerved, to ſeize on thoſe who lead an indolent Life, more than on others. The immediate Cauſes are an Irritation of the Womb cauſed by the Acrimony of the Humours that are brought thither; or the applying (either through the Patient's own Wantonneſs, or falſe Lover's cruel Deceit) external Remedies that are called Provocatives, whether internally taken, or externally applied.
In order that a Cure may be attempted, the Patient muſt, in the firſt Place, renounce all Excitements to luſtful Senſation, ſuch as Reading, Converſation, Self-touching, &c. She muſt be copiouſly and repeatedly let Blood. Her Food muſt be of the mildeſt Kind; ſhe muſt avoid ſalted Food, high Sauces, all ſeaſoning whatever that may tend to enflame. Her Drink muſt be cooling, ſuch as Whey, or other weak Liquor, with twenty Grains of Nitre, to be diſſolved in every Quart.
She muſt frequently ſit in half Baths of warm Water; when out of them let her as often as conveniently ſhe can, convey by [Page 18] Means of a Funnel put into the Vagina, and up towards the Orifice of her Womb, the Vapours of warm Water. She is to take frequent Clyſters of warm Water, with two Ounces of Manna diſſolved therein, which ſhe is to retain as long as conveniently ſhe can. It will not be amiſs, from Time to Time, that Blood may be drawn more immediately from the ſuffering Part, to apply Leeches to the Anus.
By this Proceſs the deſired Ends are to be obtained; which are, 1. To diminiſh the Quantity of irritating Humours. 2. To correct the Acrimony of the remainder by a cooling Diet. 3. To dilute and weaken the local ſtimulatory Cauſe, by the Application of warm Water in Half-baths and Injections. 4. To act as an immediate Auxiliary to the enflamed Womb in the gentleſt Manner, by Manna's mildly operating in the ſimple Form of Clyſters, and, at the ſame Time, concurring with the other curative Views, to releaſe the Fibres from their violent State of Tenſion, and bring about the wiſhed-for Calm, which cannot be miſſed of, with the Concomitance of Regularity, Sobriety, and chaſte Company.
THIS Malady of the Female Sex ariſes moſtly from an Accumulating of the Blood in the Bowels, and is cauſed chiefly by an Hindrance of the menſtrual Diſcharge, which Obſtruction is productive of much Miſchief to the fair Sex, on account of their tender Structure. It is frequently accompanied with a Vomiting, a Senſe of Suffocation, a violent Compreſſion of the Breaſt, convulſive Efforts, &c. Maiden Ladies (in the true chaſte Senſe) and Widows, are the moſt liable to this Complaint. It is ſometimes occaſioned by too immoderate Evacuations through whatever Means, whether of Bleeding, Puking, Purging, &c. Sometimes by being debarred from a Commerce with the other Sex, in thoſe eſpecially whoſe Frame conſiſts of too delicate and irritable Fibres.
This very unaccountable Diſorder ariſeth from many different Sources, and each requires different Views of Cure; thus it is wont to make its dreadful Invaſion in what is vulgarly called a Fit. A compreſſive Pain is felt in the Forehead, a Numbneſs of the Limbs, a Dimneſs of the Sight, an univerſal Irkſomneſs is diffuſed through all the [Page 20] Parts; ſomething, as if in a globular Form, ſeems to force its Way upward through the Throat, and menace immediate Suffocation. The Speech is interrupted, the Heart is in a violent Palpitation, the Pulſe is irregular and hard. Very acid Matter, like to a greeniſh Bile, is thrown out by the Mouth. A tormenting Head-ach fixes in one Part, and is called the Clavus Hyſtericus; racking Pains are felt in the Bladder and Kidney, as if the Patient was afflicted with the Stone; the Back aches prodigiouſly; an excruciating Tooth-ach often comes in for a Share. The Legs and Arms are cold. Fits of Weeping and Laughing ſucceed to each other, without any apparent Cauſe for either, and are accompanied with Convulſions.
The Intention of curing is two-fold; one when the Patients are in the Fit; the other when they are out of it: Let the Body and Limbs be rubbed with warm Flannels; let the Legs be plunged deep into a warm Bath, in which are Camomile Flowers, or Bran, and there be detained for ſome Time; let the Soles of their Feet be tickled, let the Patients be pulled by the Hair in the moſt ſenſible parts, to awaken the Faculty of Feeling; let the Fume of Aſſa-foetida Leather, Horn, or of any ſtrongly ſmelling Subſtance, when burnt, even of Tobacco, be conveyed through a Pipe [Page 21] up their Noſtrils. Some Practitioners recommend a few Grains of Muſk, or Civet tied in a Rag, to be introduced into the Vagina, and aſſert this Method to have often proved very efficacious.
Treatment out of the Fit,—in order to prevent its Return, or, at leaſt, to make it abate of its Violence, when it ſhall re-appear: A bleeding in the Foot, to be followed in a Day or two by a Vomit of Hypecacoana, fifteen Grains for Girls about Fourteen; twenty Grains for thoſe between Nineteen and Twenty; for thoſe turned of Four and twenty, Twenty-five Grains—the Patients are to drink Camomile-tea by Preference, to quicken its Energy, and is productive of very good Effects on this Occaſion. The following Remedy has been recommended by very eminent Practitioners, to wit, Mead, Hoffman, and others of no leſs Fame, doſed in theſe Proportions. Take twenty-four Ounces of ſimple Pepper-mint-water, of Valerian in Powder two Ounces, and of Lavender-drops one Ounce; let them be perfectly well mixed together, and two or three Times in the Day, let the Patient take three large Tea-Spoonfulls. It is looked upon as a good Method to apply a large Galbanum-plaiſter to the Navel.—Twelve or fourteen Drops of the Spirit of Harts-horn taken in any proper Vehicle, as weak Tea, Whey, &c. prove a ſerviceable [Page 22] Medicine. To make uſe of as a conſtant Drink, waters impregnated with Iron are a powerful Aſſiſtant; and Women who are not ſituated in the Neighbourhood of ſuch ſalutary Springs, may, in Part, ſubſtitute thereto by heating in the Fire Pieces of old ruſty Iron, and plunging them repeatedly into Water, ſmall Beer, Tea, &c. which they drink.
Let thoſe who are liable to this afflicting Diſorder, ſeize on every Opportunity of taking Exerciſe; and although that on Horſe-back hath been accounted the beſt, yet the others, ſuch as walking, being carried in a Coach, Chair, &c. are beneficial to a certain Point; let them ſeek all Occaſions of Mirth, avoid dull Company, too ſerious Converſation, melancholy Stories; and if they be ſingle, let them finally mak trial of that powerful Remedy, which the Matrimonial State alone provides, in a lawful and blameleſs Manner.
HAving, in the Cloſe of our laſt Section, adviſed all ſingle Females, whether Maids or Widows, to have Recourſe to Matrimony, as yet the moſt univerſally acknowledged Specific againſt ſo manifold a [Page 23] Diſeaſe, and the greateſt Tyrant over the tender Sex; to wit, the Hyſteric Paſſion; it is now conſiſtent with the ſtricteſt Order, that our next proceſs be (on Suppoſition that the ſuffering Fair ones have followed our Advice, and taken Refuge in the conjugal State, for the Cure of ſo grievous a Calamity) to delineate the Changes, the ſalutary Ailments they are to undergo, in Conſequence of their Change of Life, the firſt whereof is to be in the State of Pregnancy; which is diſcoverable, and may, beyond all Doubt, be aſcertained by the following Signs:
We think it proper to premiſe, that the Signs of Conception, eſpecially at the Beginning, are very obſcure, becauſe common to ſeveral other Diſeaſes, and that more over they are different in different Women, which depend, in a great Meaſure, upon a more or leſs robuſt Conſtitution, and different Manner of Living. However, the following Signs in general are declaratory of a Conception: the Menſes, or monthly Diſcharge from the Womb (being at the End of the firſt, ſecond, or third Month, after having undergone the Embraces of a Man) either entirely ſuppreſſed, or at leaſt very much diminiſhed, with a frequent Tendency to Puking; in the fourth Month, and, in ſome, not until the fifth, a Motion of ſomething alive is felt in the [Page 24] Womb, and, ſoon after, that inwardly felt Intimation is perceived by others on applying their Hands on the Belly; there then remains no longer a doubt of the Perſon's having conceived, being advanced in Pregnancy, and big with Child. The Breaſts ſwell to a greater Size than they were wont to be of, by the flowing thither of a ſerous Fluid, the Forerunner of milk, which oozes out occaſionally from, and admoniſhes them of the Motherly Care they are ſoon to be charged with in ſuckling their Children. Around the Nipple are darkiſh Circles. The ſwelling or Expanſion of the Abdomen, or Belly, is upwards.
All the pretended Foretelling, before its Birth, of what Sex the Child in the Womb is, ought to be treated with the higheſt Contempt, as a barefaced Impoſition on the Belief of weak People, who have no Repugnance to let themſelves be made Dupes; provided if wiſhing for a Son, they are flattered with the Promiſe of their ſoon being delivered of one.
A Dropſy is eaſily diſtinguiſhed from advanced Pregnancy, becauſe in the former the ſwelling is in the lower Part of the Belly; whereas in the latter it is in the upper. Beſides, another Proof which puts the Matter out of all Doubt, is, if the Patient's Swelling be Hydropical, that will appear by putting one Hand at either Side of the [Page 25] Perſon's Belly, and then to pat or puſh it gently with the other; the Hand on the oppoſite Side will feel a Fluctuation of Water.
The chief Inconveniencies which pregnant Women are liable to, are either a Loſs or Depravation of their Appetite, a Nauſeating, or Tendency to puke, a Liſtleſſneſs, a Heavineſs, an Head-ach, a Dizineſs, Difficulty of Breathing, a Swelling of the Feet and Breaſt, a violent Tooth-ach; in all which Caſes proper Reſt, as far as their Condition will allow, is required; and that they expoſe themſelves to no great Fatigue. A gentle Bleeding is often not amiſs. But if Pregnancy be the Conſequence of a private Love Affair, let the Patients communicate their Situation to ſome experienced Female Friend, that may perhaps be able to adviſe; or at leaſt able to apply for them to the ſkilled in Phyſic. We purpoſely avoid giving any Directions, through Fear of dangerous Conſequences, either by Miſapprehenſion, or unſkilful Application.
THE Female Diſeaſe next, in order to Pregnancy, is Abortion, which is the premature Excluſion of the Foetus many Months before the natural Term. This Diſaſter moſt commonly happens in the third Month, or thereabout; the moſt dangerous to the Mothers are thoſe that happen on the fifth Month. To avoid being the Cauſe of any Miſchief, we, for the ſame Reaſons as in the preceeding Chapter, decline directing any complicated Remedy. Yet when theſe Forerunners of an Abortion are felt; to wit, a Pain in the Bottom of the Matrix, or Womb, or in the inward Parts of the Thighs, as well as ſlight ſhiverings between the Skin and the Fleſh, and at the ſame Time the Belly becomes depreſſed and flattiſh about the Navel from pointed, which it had been in that Part at the Beginning of ſuch Symptoms, Linſeed has been often proved a very good Remedy to prevent a Miſcarriage, or Abortion. It may not alſo be amiſs to bleed about the third Month of Pregnancy, more or leſs, according to the Strength of the Perſon; and during the firſt Months particularly, let it be remembered, that the Body is to be kept open with Rhubarb, or Senna, or other [Page 27] Purgative of the mild Claſs. We cannot finiſh this Section more profitably to the Common-wealth, than with a truly phyſical, moral and religious inculcating to young Maids, who may have unfortunately been ſeduced, to beware of, and ſhun, as they would Poiſon, all Remedies which the wicked recommend to cauſe Abortions, and for the following Reaſons, obvious to the meaneſt Capacity.
The Remedies that have been cried up by Ignorance and Vice, as capable of cauſing an Abortion, or Miſcarriage, are in Fact, nay abſolutely not endowed with any ſuch eſpecial Faculty; for the Way that they act towards, and contribute to that Purpoſe, is by the Violence with which they exert themſelves when introduced into the human Body; where, by the outrageous Tumult which they cauſe, they are ſometimes productive of the too early Expulſion of the Foetus from the Womb, all ſhaken and convulſed, by the general Commotion cauſed throughout the Mother's Frame, which ſtorm likewiſe frequently cauſeth her Death; ſo by one unhappy Deed ſhe is guilty of Self-murder, and that of her Child.
But in thoſe Conſtitutions where ſuch accurſed Remedies cannot operate the wiſhed and diabolical Effect of murdering, and prematurely driving the Foetus out of the [Page 28] Womb, whether through too great an Adheſion, or ſtrong Contexture of the Parts, &. then they exerciſe all their malignant Power on the Conſtitution of the unhappy Mother, which they ruin for ever after; and thus ſhe ſhortens her Date of Life, as but too many fatal Inſtances have been known in Practice.
If they have no feeling for their yet unborn Babes let them have ſome Regard for their own Health, and well being, in this World; which, ſhould they overlook, let them tremble at the Certainty of their being to appear before a tremendous Judge on the laſt Day, and there to receive the Sentence of eternal Torture for the moſt deteſtable, the moſt barbarous and inhuman of all Crimes, a Mother guilty of the Murder of her own Child; nay, of tearing it bleeding ftom her own Womb before its allotted Time of Delivery. To mangle its tender Thread of Life! Nature ſhudders at the Thought—The moſt wild, moſt ſavage, and moſt ferocious Beaſts that howl Terror through dreary Foreſts or Deſarts, never commit ſo monſtrous a Deed.—
BY the Term Mole, is to be underſtood nothing more than a fleſhy Subſtance generated in the Womb; it is moſt commonly of a ſpherical Form, and, until ocular Conviction after its Delivery, or a Continuance long beyond the Time of Child-bearing, hath been miſtaken for the true Conſequence of a Conception, a Foetus, or Child in the Womb.
Its Dimenſions vary from the common Size of an Infant down to that of a large Nut-ſhell. Some are of a membranous Texture, others of a ſoftiſh or ſpongy Conſiſtence, and have, in their middle, a Cavity. They ſometimes abound with little Bladders, called Hydatides, and, at others, they are replete with a ſerous Matter.
Moles are apt to alarm thoſe who are troubled with them, by a Diſplay of Symptoms at firſt not unlike to thoſe of Women really with Child. They differ much afterwards; for a dull heavy Weight, like a Ball of Lead, is felt when a Mole is the Caſe; but it never does (like a living Foetus) exhibit a vibratory Motion to any Hand applied on the Outſide of the Abdomen, [Page 30] which, in the State of undoubted Pregnancy, is ſpherical and roundiſh.
A Mole in itſelf menaces no Peril to the Patient; and all the Danger or Difficulty, that it is liable to be accompanied with, conſiſts chiefly in the Manner of freeing the Womb from ſo uſeleſs an Incumbrance: for otherwiſe Women have been known to have carried them for many Years; nay, even to a very advanced Age in Life, without ſuffering any other Inconvenience than the being troubled, from Time to Time, with the diſagreeable Senſation of a liſtleſs Weight, and a teazing Uneaſineſs.
The moſt ignorant of the Sex may be perſuaded, beyond any Poſſibility of a doubt, that they have a Mole in the Womb, when they perceive that an Increaſe of Bulk and Weight has exceeded by far the uſual Time of Geſtation or Child-bearing, which in general exceeds not nine Months, and the utmoſt Indulgence of Phyſicians to cover the Reputation of great Ladies hath never let it ſtretch beyond eleven, the Truth of which Complaiſance is much doubted of, and not without Reaſon.
The Certainty of a Mole in the Womb being eſtabliſhed, the next Attention is to eject an idle Occupant of the firſt Cradle of human Exiſtence, for the two-fold Reaſon of being uſeleſs in itſelf, and preventive [Page 31] of introducing there what may prove the reverſe.
The Method to be followed by thoſe who do not chuſe to run the Riſk of violent internal Remedies, which ought not to be ventured on without proper Advice, is to take the freſh ſlender Root of a Walnut Tree, not exceeding in Length the Palm of the Hand, then to ſhave and poliſh it to the Thickneſs of a middle-ſized Finger, which is to be introduced, from Time to Time, into the Vagina, where it will excite a tingling Senſation of Heat, and that being communicated to the Womb will provoke it to Action, and cauſe it, in Time, to eject its inanimate Contents, whether it be a real or dead Foetus, a Mole, or any Concretion formed in the Womb in Conſequence of a former Delivery not happily conducted. It will not be amiſs to accompany the above Application with the Repetition of a pretty ſtrong Puke, and Purgative, alternately, that is, within a few Days Diſtance of each; in order to accelerate the deſired Effect. The Doſe of the Puke or Purgative is to be ſettled by the Patients, which in this Caſe is to be encreaſed beyond that which is wont to work them.
THAT Diſtemper of the female Sex, and which by Practitioners, in all Treatiſes upon their Maladies, is called a Dropſy of the Uterus, is obviouſly diſtinguiſhable from the common Dropſy of the Abdomen or Belly, and for this very ſtriking Reaſon, becauſe in the former the Dropſy of the Womb, by the Appearance both to the Eye and Touch is confined to the Region or Neighbourhood of the Uterus or Womb, and is round, circumſcribed and prominent. But it is quite the contrary in the other Dropſy, becauſe then the whole Belly is equally ſwelled.
The curing a Dropſy of the Womb is not attended with ſo much Difficulty as curing that of the Belly. Sometimes nothing more is neceſſary than hard riding, or any other violent Exerciſe, accompanied as in the Cure of Mole, dead Foetus, &c. with ſtrong Pukes, and Purges, from Time to Time.
The following ſimple Injection has been found of great Uſe—Get an Ounce of Ipecacoana boiled in a Pint of Water till the Quantity be diminiſhed about a Quarter; then let it be put by to cool—When to be [Page 33] uſed, which may be every Morning, as the Action of the Day will forward its Effect, let it be warmed to that Degree a Clyſter commonly is, and then be injected up through the Vagina towards the Orifice of the Womb, the Patient lying on her Back, in which Situation ſhe is to continue as long as ſhe can; and if for a Quarter of an Hour, ſo much the better; becauſe by that Means the Remedy will have the more Time to make its deſired Impreſſion.
It will not be amiſs to take internally of the Tincture of Jalap and Florentine Orris mixed together, one Tea-ſpoon full juſt before Tea-time in the Morning and Evening; and conſtantly to put a ſmall Quantity of Saffron into their Tea will not be unſerviceable.
WHAT is in the Writings of eminent Phyſicians called Procidentia Uteri, and which, for the being readily underſtood by the moſt vulgar Capacity, we have tranſlated The Falling down of the Womb, is, alas! too common a Diſorder in that Part, and eaſily known by preſenting [Page 34] itſelf between the Lips of the Vagina, and preventing an Entrance into it.
This Diſtemper is rather more incommodious and diſagreeable than dangerous—The firſt View of Cure is to reduce the Uterus, and the next, to retain it in its proper Situation.—To anſwer the firſt View of reducing it, a common Clyſter muſt be taken in order to diſcharge the Gut that is next to it, called the Rectum, of any excremental Lodgment.
The Patient muſt be let Blood three or four Times; and there muſt alſo be applied emollient or ſoftening Plaiſters, as of White Bread and Milk.—A few warm Baths will be of Uſe, becauſe, by their Means, the Parts will be properly relaxed. Then muſt the Patient lie on her Back, with her Hips raiſed much higher than her Head, and her Legs muſt be ſeparated to a proper Diſtance. Then in a moſt gentle and gradual Manner is the Womb to be put back, and in that Direction where it meets with the leaſt Obſtacle. When this Operation is performed, the Patient, ſtill taking Care to keep her Hips raiſed, and Legs acroſs, is to remain in Bed about a Fortnight.
But to put a finiſhing Hand to the Cure, an aſtringent Medicine, dexterouſly applied, will be neceſſary; ſuch as for Inſtance—a Quarter of a Pound of the Bark of Oak, with two Oun [...] of Miſletoe, boiled in [Page 35] two Quarts of Water, until reduced to one Quart; then lay it aſide for Uſe. It is to be twice a Day injected with a proper Degree of Warmth up through the Vagina towards the Womb—And in the Vagina, on going to reſt at Night, ought to be introduced as high as convenient, an adapted Piece of Sponge; or elſe ſoft Linen Rags twiſted into a circular Form, and well ſoaked in the above Decoction of the Bark of Oak and Miſletoe; the longer it is retained in the Part, ſo much the better.
ONE of the Inconveniencies that moſt commonly attend Women approaching to the Time of Delivery, or of being brought to Bed, is a Difficulty of making Water, which in general may be removed without taking any inward Remedy, or applying any outward, and that by raiſing the Belly. For the Preſſure of the Womb (big with a grown Foetus) on the Sphincter or Outlet of the Bladder, is frequently the Cauſe of ſuch Stoppage.
When Things are ſo far gone as to be near Child-birth, ſince from the extraordinary Bulk of the Patient, it can be no [Page 36] longer kept a Secret, were there even a Neceſſity for ſo doing; then it is prudent to lay aſide ill-timed Modeſty, and Application is to be made to thoſe who practice in that Branch, whether they be of the Male or Female Sex; eſpecially when Nature ſeems in Danger of meeting Difficulties ſhe cannot overcome, although, in moſt caſes, ſhe is ſufficient of herſelf; and great Miſchief is often cauſed by conceited Practitioners thwarting her Operation. Doctor Mead adviſes, for the quickening of a Delivery, that a Grain of purified Opium be divided into two Pills, one to be taken ſix Hours after the other.
About an Hour after the Delivery the Mother ought to take a Tea-ſpoon full of the Oil of Sweet Almonds, and that repeatedly, if it appear requiſite, in order to ſoothe the ſubſequent Pains. Then let a Cataplaſm, made up of Oil of Sweet Almonds two Ounces, with two or three new laid Eggs boiled together, be applied to the Parts, and, for the Space of two Days, be renewed every ſix Hours.
If the Pains after Delivery prove violent and menacing, then the following Preſcription has been experienced of the greateſt Uſe: Take two Scruples of Sperma Ceti; ten Grains of volatile Salts of Hartſhorn; ten Drops of Balſam of Peru, and one Drachm of Venice Treacle; let them [Page 37] be carefully mixed with as much Syrup of White Poppies as will ſuffice to be made into four Doſes; one to be taken every ſix Hours, till the Pains diſappear; the Patient is to drink Caudle very plentifully, and to be kept very warm.
In about fifteen Days after Delivery, and a vaniſhing of the Pains attendant thereon, the late ſuffering Parts are to be bathed with an aſtringent Decoction that they may be braced up; which Decoction is to conſiſt of Half a Pint of red Wine, wherein are to be boiled red Roſes and Balauſtins as chief Ingredients.
Inaſmuch as after all Births that are any ways laborious, the Mother is in general weak, and very apt to faint, it will be neceſſary, and far from imprudent, by the Means of a Glaſs of hot Wine, or other generous Liquor, to comfort and keep up her Spirits. The ſame is to be repeated as often as ſhe ſhall appear to ſtand in need thereof. Comfortable Broths greatly contribute to forward a Recovery of Strength. All other Occurrences of a more intricate Tendency are to be remedied by profeſſed Practitioners.
THE Advice with which we have cloſed the laſt Section, muſt take Place relative to the Diſorders of this Diſcharge immediately after Child-bearing, whether in Exceſs or diminiſhed, becauſe then the Patient, on account of ſo enfeebled a State, can be of no Service to herſelf, and the relying on Friends in general is dangerous.
THAT which commonly takes the Lead, and is therefore reckoned the firſt, becauſe it appears the third or fourth Day after Delivery, is cauſed by a Congeſtion, or Gathering of Milk in both the Breaſts, or in either of them. It is thence called the Milk Fever.
It is uſually accompanied with a tenſive or excruciating Pain: and alſo with a Tumor or ſwelling of both the Breaſts, or either, that frequently extend to both Arm-pits, or at leaſt to that of the Breaſts affected.[Page 39]
This Pain of the Arm-pits is ſometimes violent to a moſt inſupportable Degree. It is wont to perſevere for the Space of one to two Days, and then puts an End to itſelf by copious Sweats, (always proportioned to the preceding cold Sweats) by which it is diverted out of the Body as a Benefit of Nature.
In ſome Caſes, however, there may be a Neceſſity of uſing gentle diaphoretic Remedies that encreaſe Perſpiration, or ſome of the hot diluting ones to aſſiſt and encourage the diſembarraſſing of the Veſſels in the Breaſts; to which the Child ought often to be put, and the Mother confine herſelf to a ſtrict Diet.
But if it ſhould not be the Intention of the Patient to ſuckle the Child, then a more ſtrict Regimen is to be obſerved, and a proper Perſon is to be procured to draw the Breaſts, from Time to Time, which will contribute to hinder a Gathering there.
Moreover, a thickening of the Milk is to be hindered by embrocating the Breaſt with Oil of Sweet Almonds, or even with Linſeed Oil. Nay, a warm Application of the Leaves of red Cabbage hath proved beneficial on ſuch Occaſions, as have alſo double Cloths dipped in Brandy, and then put under the Arm-pits. But if the Milk Fever ſhould prove very hot, acute, and threaten immediate Inflammation, then Recourſe muſt be had to Bleeding.
IF, in a ſhort Time after Child-birth, there happens a ſtagnating of the Milk, accompanied with a Swelling and a Pain, it is called an Inflammation of the Breaſts. Then inwardly let gentle Cordials be taken; and externally apply hot Linen Cloths ſteeped in Rum. Care muſt be taken to have the Milk drawn off ſome how or other, whether by the Mouth of an Animal, ſuch as a Puppy, or the Hand of the Nurſe, &c.
But ſhould the Swelling, cauſed by a Stagnation of Milk, be obſerved to be without Heat, then, with all poſſibe Speed, let the Part be bathed with red Wine made warm, or Spirit of Wine camphorated. Nay, the Cataplaſm or Plaiſter of white Bread, and red Wine boiled together, with the Addition of ſome camphorated Spirit of Wine, has been recommended as a ſucceſsful Remedy by ſome very good Practitioners.
When the Swelling appears inclinable to break, then make Uſe of a ſoftening Plaiſter, particularly the common one with the Gums which will ripen it to an Opening. As ſoon as it ſhall be opened, take Care to cleanſe it with a digeſtive Ointment, to heal [Page 41] it with balſamic Remedies, particularly the Balſam of Peru, to be had at any apothecary's ſhop.—Women, in this diſorder, are liable to a diſagreeable attendant upon it, and that is, a Chapping in the Nipples, which in that caſe are to be anointed with a mixture of oil and bees wax.
THIS Malady happens frequently to Child-bed Women, at the ſame time of the Milk Fever appearing; however, if proper care be taken to oppoſe its progreſs in the Beginning all will go well. Therefore let the Patient take inwardly oil of ſweet Almonds alone to the Quantity of Half an Ounce. But for exterior Remedy, let the whole Abdomen, or Belly, be duly anointed with Oil of Dill an Ounce, with the ſame Quantity of white Lillies and Camomile, to which add a Drachm either of Camphire or Caraways, over which a double Napkin muſt be laid.
THIS Malady is incidental either to the Womb or Breaſts in Women. It begins at firſt with a ſmall Swelling, no [Page 42] exceeding a Nut in Bigneſs; nor does the Colour of the Skin, on the Breaſts, undergo any ſudden Change, becauſe the Cancer, without cauſing any terrifying Alarms in its firſt Stages, continueth, as it were, a ſilent Progreſs for many Years.
But when the foſtering Humours of that Evil is endowed with a greater Degree of Activity, the Swelling is ſuddenly enlarged into a great, unequal, round, and livid Tumour, accompanied with a racking Pain.
Finally, it terminates in a Rupture, and thence diſcharges a Blood-urged Stinking, and acrimonious Humour, which, by preying upon the Parts that are ſound, render the Lips of the Wound ghaſtly and horrible to Sight, nay often Death.
The Cancer of the Womb ſeldom admits of any Cure, becauſe the Patient, generally ſpeaking, is in a deſperate State before it can be aſcertained. The Cancer of the Breaſts, as well as of the other Parts, if timely taken in hand, is often cured; for which End the following Remedy is recommended for its powerful Virtue by a very eminent Phyſician. Get two Ounces of the Shavings of Guaiacum, which boil in two Quarts of Water, and let it continue to boil until it be reduced to three Pints. Half a Pint of this Decoction is to be drank twice a day.
The Patient muſt be ever mindful that the Cancer muſt be preſerved with all imaginable Care from every Impreſſion of the cold Air, on which, for that Purpoſe, ought conſtantly to be ſpread a little of the Sperma Ceti Ointment, which ſalutary Practice ought to be renewed every Day two or three Times.
We cannot conclude the preſent Section with a more eſſential Advice to all labouring under this Diſtemper, than to bid them avoid dealing with ignorant Quacks, or Noſtrum Retailers for a Cure, becauſe the taking ſuch a ſtep muſt lead to certain Danger.
THE principal and determining Sign by which this Malady may be known is by a Diſcharge of ſtinking and purulent Matter that is ſtreaked all over with Blood and the greater the Quantity oozing from it is, the deeper you may pronounce the Ulcer to be: But when the flowing Matter is not diſtained with Blood, then no more than the ſerous and lymphatic Veſſels are affected; but when it is of a reddiſh colour, then, to a certainty, the Blood Veſſels are attacked.[Page 44]
The following Injection is recommended: Let an Ounce of Honey of Roſes in half a Pint of Water be heated to a proper Degree, to wit, ſuch as can be borne without exciting a Senſe of Pain, which, by means of a Sponge, is to be applied through the Vagina on the ailing Part ſeveral Times in the Day. Half a Tea Spoon-full of the Tincture of Myrrh may be added to each Injection.
I have now treated ſufficiently of all thoſe Diſtempers incidental to the Fair Sex; and which every Individual, either through their own Sagacity, or with the aſſiſtance of ſome intelligent Female Friend, may ſafely undertake the cure of.—There are no caſes omitted, but thoſe quite out of their Reach to bring any Help to, and that require both the Inſpection, as well as Operation, of a ſkilful Surgeon.
There are, indeed, a few ſlight Diſeaſes, or rather Deficiences of Nature in the married State, that obſtruct the Propagation of the Species; but Decency forbids me to mention any thing about them, leſt Libertiniſm ſhould make a vicious Uſe thereof.FINIS.