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Inflammation of the Womb

neck, membrane, body, lining, common, muscular and medical

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INFLAMMATION OF THE WOMB.

This is a very wide term, embracing a variety of diseases known to medical men under special names, and requiring special treatment. It will be sufficient here to indicate the general features which the various forms of the disease have pretty much in common, and the general lines of treatment which can be safely adopted when medical aid is not readily obtainable. If reference be made to p. 619, the distinction will be understood between the body of the womb and the neck of the womb, which latter ends at the month, opening into the passage. Inflammation, then, may attack both the body and neck of the womb, or it may limit itself to one or other. Further, the womb is largely composed of muscle, but, within, it is lined with a mucous membrane, containing glands buried in it and opening on the surface (inner). The inflammation may exist mainly in the muscular walls, or it may be limited to the inner lining membrane. Thus there may be inflammation of the muscular walls of the body of the womb, or inflammation of the lining membrane of the body of the womb, and there may be inflammation of the muscular walla of the neck of the womb, or inflammation of the lining membrane of the neck of the womb.

Here are,. then, four varieties of inflamma tion. Moreover, in each of these four cases the inflammation may be acute or chronic, and so there may be eight forms of inflammation of the womb. The symptoms, while presenting similar general features, will vary somewhat with each separate condition, and the treat ment, to be thorough, ought also to vary some• what to suit the particular case. The extreme advisability, therefore, of anyone suffering from any of the symptoms of disorder of the womb, consulting a skilled medical man, ought to be sufficiently plain.

Happily the inflammation of the muscular walls, whether of body or neck of the womb, may be dismissed with the remark that it is comparatively rare.

Inflammation of the Lining Membrane of the Neck of the Womb.—The common form of uterine inflammation, and it is, in its chronic form, extremely common, is inflam mation of the lining membrane of the neck of the womb, and to that attention shall be con fined, note being taken, in the course of its description, of any symptom indicating that the inflammation has spread upwards to the lining membrane of the body of the womb.

Symptoms.—The common symptoms of in flammation of the lining membrane of the neck of the womb, when not of an acute form, are profuse discharge of whites, some amount of pain in the small of the back, worse with standing or walking and increased at the monthly periods, and a sense of indifferent general health. If the disorder has lasted for a considerable time the patient will of neces sity suffer from general debility to a greater or less extent, and will be paler than is consistent with health. Her digestion is almost certainly disturbed, and she may suffer from depression or nervousness, and a variety of pains and aches, now in one part of the body and now in another. The bowels are probably confined, and the urine is dark and thick. The dis charge that appears externally may be glairy and clear, like white of egg before being boiled, or may be white or yellowish matter.

If the attack be acute there are pain and tenderness in the parts, throbbing with a feel ing of bearing down, irritation of the bladder and frequent desire to pass water, and the discharge is often tinged with blood and of an offensive smell.

It is to be noted, however, that inflammation may exist for some time without pain, or any other symptom, except that of a profuse dis charge of "whites." Causes of the disease are numerous. Ex posure to damp and cold, especially in those of feeble health, insufficiently nourished, and who fail to obtain sufficient exercise and fresh air, the irritation of a displaced womb, or instru ments introduced into the passage to restore a displaced womb to its proper condition, the frequent use of irritating injections, and various other causes may produce it. It is excessively common in married women who have borne children, and too prolonged nursing may with them excite its occurrence. Nor must excessive intercourse and direct infection be omitted in the list of causes.

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