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provoking desires which are not gratified. A profound stimulation is
felt through the entire apparatus; the uterus, fallopian tubes, and
ovaries enter into a state of orgasm, a storm which is not appeased
by the natural crisis; a nervous super-excitation persists. There
occurs, then, what would take place if, presenting food to a famished
man, one should snatch it from his mouth after having thus violently
excited his appetite. The sensibilities of the womb and the entire
reproductive system are teased for no purpose. It is to this cause,
too often repeated, that we should attribute the multiple neuroses,
those strange affections which originate in the genital system of woman.
Our conviction respecting them is based upon a great number of
observations. Furthermore, the normal relations existing between the
married couple undergo unfortunate changes; this affection, founded
upon reciprocal esteem, is little by little effaced by the repetition
of an act which pollutes the marriage bed; from thence proceed certain
hard feelings, certain deep impressions which, gradually growing,
eventuate in the scandalous ruptures of which the community rarely know
the real motive.'
"If the good harmony of families and their reciprocal relations are
seriously menaced by the invasion of these detestable practices, the
health of women, as we have already intimated, is fearfully injured.
A great number of neuralgias appear to us to have no other cause. Many
women that we have interrogated on this matter have fortified this
opinion. But that which to us has passed to the condition of
incontestable proof, is the prevalence of uterine troubles, of
enervation among the married, hysterical symptoms which are met with
in the conjugal relation as often as among young virgins, arising from
the vicious habits of the husbands in their conjugal intercourse....
Still more, there is a graver affection, which is daily increasing,
and which, if nothing arrests its invasion, will soon have attained
the proportions of a scourge; we speak of the degeneration of the womb.
We do not hesitate to place in the foremost rank, among the causes of
this redoubtable disease, the refinements of civilization, and
especially the artifices introduced in our day in the generic act. When
there is no procreation, although the procreative faculties are excited,
we see these pseudo-morphoses arise. Thus it is noticed that polypi
and schirrus [cancer] of the womb are common among prostitutes. And
it is easy to account for the manner of action of this pathogenetic
cause, if we consider how probable it is that the ejaculation and
contact of the sperm with the uterine neck, constitutes, for the woman,
the crisis of the genital function, by appeasing the venereal orgasm
and calming the voluptuous emotions under the action of which the entire
economy is convulsed."
"We may, we trust, be pardoned for remarking upon the artifices imagined
to prevent fecundation that there is in them an immense danger, of
incalculable limits. We do not fear to be contradicted or taxed with
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