The source of so much misery is the increasing physical weakness of the female and the increasing nervous weakness of the male, with an increasing sexual excitability, two factors of tragic effect for the wife. Here is seen the unfortunate result of teaching two kinds of morals, one for men and another for women.
Causes of Sexual Excitability.— Too frequent genital irritation, onanism, too frequent intercourse, alcohol, too rich and too highly seasoned foods, lack of exercise.
Treatment of Sexual Excitability.— Avoid alcohol and precocious puberty. Strictest attention must be paid to the diet; everything is to be avoided which is difficult of digestion or which retards it. The following articles of diet must all be avoided: cheese, foods seasoned with pepper and curry, highly salted and acid foods, and all rich foods; and meat must be eaten only in moderate quantities. Constipation irritates the genitalia directly and increases the inflammation. The close relation of Venus and Bacchus is known not only in mythology. Carbonated waters are to be especially avoided, such as soda, seltzers, Preblauer, Geisshubler, and acid waters; also champagne and beer, heavy Italian, Spanish, and English wines. All alcoholic drinks must be forbidden.
As heavy gymnastics as the strength of the individual will admit, and plenty of exercise out-of-doors must be taken. There must also be constant mental and physical employment. In women sexual excitability is often caused by local diseases, and passes off with their cure; if not, she must use her will-power, and take the various forms of cold baths. Sexual intercourse not oftener than once in two or three weeks, and avoid all intimate approaches; if this is not sufficient, she will have to leave her husband for a few months.
Sterility; the Prevention of Conception
and the Limitation of Offspring;
the Crime of Abortion; Infidelity in Women.
“Never let yourselves do evil that
good may come. If you do, you
hinder the coming of the real, the perfect good in its due time.”
Sterility.— Conception is least apt to take place from the tenth day after one period until the third day before the next; but there is practically no time during a woman’s sexual life when she may not be impregnated; in this connection it must be remembered that the spermatozoa stay alive in her for more than a week.
During lactation women are generally sterile, especially in the first months which follow the accouchement, because the vital forces are then concentrated on the secretion of milk.
The age of the wife at the time of marriage has much to do with the expectation of children. As the age increases over twenty-five years the interval between the marriage and the birth of the first child is lengthened. For it has been ascertained that not only are women most fecund between twenty and twenty-five years, but that they begin their career of child-bearing sooner after marriage than either their younger or older sisters.