an early report about the advantages of and misconceptions about
MUSEUM OF MENSTRUATION AND WOMEN'S HEALTH
What is menstruation?
"Status of Menstruation" by Dr. E. C. Gehrung
Medical News, June 22, 1901, about the
proceedings of the
26th meeting of the American Gynecological Society,
May 30 - June 1, 1901.
"Pathologic waste of the very
essence of life"
(wrote Dr. Gehrung)
Why do women menstruate? People
have wondered at least since the time of the
ancient Greeks and certainly before then.
Only in the past 100 years or so has the
connection between the endocrine and
reproductive systems provided the answer.
A Dr. Gehrung, in 1901, read a paper to
the American Gynecological Society, saying
that menstruation was "brought about by the
necessities and results of the social, moral, and
connubial life of mankind, as well
as through the transmission by inheritance
of certain debilities
of the generative apparatus, and more
especially by the erect
posture and its natural
consequences, assumed by the human species."
Whoa! Sounds like an angry man!
The doctor recommended vaginal tampons to
stop the bleeding in cases where the woman
has "depressed vitality." But a tampon would
either (rarely) dam the bleeding or absorb
it, not stop it from happening at all (more about this).
A debate using similar words happens today
I thank the kind donor!
Today's definition of menorrhagia
is excessive and prolonged menstrual
bleeding rather than just menstrual
bleeding, which is the way the writer seems
to use it.
In the third sentence from the bottom you
see "secundum artem," which is Latin
for "according to the
Commercial menstrual tampons women could
buy in a store almost
certainly didn't exist in 1901 but
commercial pads did, both disposable and reusable.
Commercial tampons seem to have appeared in
the late 1920s or early 1930s.
Read an early report
about the advantages of
and misconceptions about
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