DISEASES OF THE OVARIES.
Inflammation of the Ovaries and Ovarian Pain (Neuralgia).—Inflammatory diseases of the ovaries are not easily separated from similar affections of neighbouring parts. Moreover, the ovaries share in disorders of the womb and in diseases of parts in their neighbourhood, the removal of which will usually be accompanied by the cure of the ovarian disorder.
Any cause tending to induce congestion of organs in the lower part of the belly will pro duce congestion to a greater or less extent of the ovaries and set up symptoms specially referred to them. Thus sudden stoppage of the monthly flow is such a cause, and inflammation occurring after child-birth.
The symptoms that point to the ovaries are pain, sometimes excessively severe, in the region of one or both ovaries, that is about the middle of the groin (see Fig. 113, p. 241). The slightest pressure in this position is very painful. In chronic cases of inflammation the pain is con stant and wearing, usually worse at the period of the monthly illness. In some cases it is scarcely perceived at the periods, but returns in the middle of the interval between the periods. The pain is increased by standing, walking, and by sexual intercourse. It sometimes shoots down the thigh. The monthly illness is of an unusual kind, excessive or scanty or very pain ful. Various nervous pains are experienced throughout the body, and a highly nervous and hysterical condition may result from the chronic form of the disease.
In some cases the pain is neuralgic in charac ter, and the term neuralgia of the ovaries has consequently arisen.
The treatment depends on the cause of the affection. It can only be said here that any thing likely to excite congestion of the organs in the lower part of the belly is to be avoided. Constant standing, much use of the treadle sewing-machine, of the harmonium, ought to be avoided. Good food, fresh air, sea-air,
and sea-bathing are valuable. Hot-water injec tions, as advised on p. 655, may be tried. The evils of the use of laudanum or other prepara tion of opium, and of alcohol, are very great, and the inducements to their employment many. They must be strenuously avoided.
Tumours of the Ovary (Dropsy of the Ovary). —While there is a variety of solid tu• mourn of the ovary, the common tumour is one containing fluid. It is a cyst, or sac, of every variety of size, some weighing as much as 30, 50, or upwards of 100 pounds. Its contents may be a watery, clear, straw-coloured fluid, or a fluid more gluey and tenacious and of varying colour. While the tumour may grow it has been stated roughly that the average du ration of life after its beginning is under three years. These tumours are most common be tweeze the ages of twenty and forty years.
Symptoms.—In the early stages there may be practically no symptom, and the first indica tion may be the enlargement of the abdomen. The enlargement may be mistaken for preg nancy, though it is usually more or less rapid than that of pregnancy ; and this mistake is more apt to be made if the monthly illness ceases or becomes scanty and irregular. As the tumour grows, the patient becomes thin and exhausted, and disorders of the bowels arise, increasing the exhaustion.
Treatment.—There is only one form of treat•• meat of any value, namely removal of the tumour by surgical operation. It is an opera tion now attended by very great success whey skilfully performed, and when undertaken in time before the patient's powers are exhausted. Withdrawing a quantity of the fluid by tapping is not now so common a method of treatment as formerly.