Read CHAPTER V - THE FEMALE PELVIS AND ITS CONTENTS. of Treatise on the Diseases of Women , free online book, by Lydia E. Pinkham, on

The Pelvis. - The pelvis is the bony framework which forms the lower part of the body. On each side it forms a union with the hip bone to make the hip joint.

The female pelvis contains the reproductive organs (uterus, vagina, and ovaries), and also the bladder and lower bowel.

The Vagina. - The vagina is a membranous canal extending from the surface of the body to the uterus, or womb. Its posterior wall is about 3-1/2 inches long, and its anterior about 3 inches. A careful study should be made of our illustration, in order that the relation of the vagina and uterus to the rectum behind and the bladder in front may be thoroughly understood; also the angle which is formed by the vagina and the uterus.

Notice should be taken, also, of the opening of the uterus into the upper part of the vagina; as inflammation of the uterus often causes a discharge which passes into the upper part of the vagina and finally out of the body. This gives rise to the belief that the only trouble is in the vagina itself, whereas the real seat of the disease may be high up in the uterus.

The Uterus. - The uterus, or womb, is a hollow organ formed of muscular tissue, and lined with a delicate mucous membrane. The bladder is in front, the rectum behind, and the vagina below.

Three Parts. - Physicians divide this important organ into three parts, the fundus, body, and neck. The fundus is all the upper rounded portion; the body all that portion between the fundus and the neck; and the neck all the rounded lower part.

The Cavity of the Uterus. - This is divided into the cavity of the body and the cavity of the neck. By consulting our illustration it is seen that these cavities differ greatly in shape; that of the body being triangular, while that of the neck is barrel-shaped.

It will be seen that the cavity of the body has three openings, one on either side at the top going to the Fallopian tubes, and an opening at the bottom passing into the cavity of the neck. A constriction exists between these two cavities; but after childbirth this is largely done away with, and there is not that marked difference which existed formerly.

Glands in Uterus. - In the mucous membrane lining the uterus are vast numbers of minute glands which secrete mucus. It has been asserted that in the cavity of the neck alone there are from ten to twelve thousand of these glands. It is in this mucous membrane that such remarkable changes occur each month during menstruation, and still more wonderful changes during pregnancy.

The Ligaments of the Uterus. - It will be seen that there are on each side of the uterus flat bands of tissue known as “broad ligaments.” These ligaments are attached to the sides of the pelvic cavity, and aid greatly in holding the uterus firmly in place. There are also other ligaments concerned in this same work, although the broad ligaments are most important. The illustration also shows the walls of the vagina cut open, in order that the position of the mouth of the uterus may be easily seen.

Blood-Vessels Surrounding Uterus. - The uterus is well supplied with blood-vessels. Indeed, there is all over the walls of the uterus and through its tissue a vast network of these vessels. Whenever, for any reason, the circulation of the blood through the pelvis is disturbed, these blood-vessels are likely to become engorged, over-filled, producing congestion and inflammation.

All Parts Closely Related. - The close relation of these blood-vessels to the blood-supply of the bowels, liver, etc., makes it possible for most serious disturbances to take place even from slight causes.

Study the Illustrations. - By studying these illustrations it can be readily seen how an over-distended rectum may produce such an impediment to the circulation that there will be congestion of all the neighboring parts. Or, the intestines themselves may become over-distended with faecal matter, or gas, from dyspepsia, and the pressure induced thereby may be sufficient to interfere with the free circulation of these parts, and thus uterine congestion produced.

It is also seen how improper dress may compress the organs about these parts, and thus interfere with the circulation. Again, it is easily understood, simply from studying the illustrations alone, how any of these causes might produce dislocation of the uterus itself.

Object of Uterus. - The uterus is the source of the menstrual discharge, a place for the foetus during its development, and the source of the nutritive supply of this foetus. It is the uterus which contracts at full term and expels the child.

Uterus Not Rigidly Fixed. - In a perfectly normal condition there is considerable mobility to the uterus; in other words, it is not fixed firmly by the ligaments already mentioned. It is rather simply suspended, or hung in the pelvic cavity, by these broad flat bands of tissue.

A full bladder will push it backward, while a distended rectum will move it forward; as the body changes its posture, so will the uterus change its position by force of gravity.

Cannot Be Bent Upon Itself. - The uterus cannot be bent upon itself without producing injury; neither can it be pushed too far forward or backward, nor crowded down too far without causing great distress and actual disease.

Fallopian Tube. - There is given off from each side of the upper part of the uterus a tube. This is called the Fallopian tube.

Each tube is about four inches long. Near the uterus its cavity will just admit an ordinary bristle; but near its free end, at the ovary, it is as large as a goose-quill.

It is a peculiar tube in that it terminates in a number of fringe-like processes, one of which is always attached to the ovary itself.

Object of This Tube. - The Fallopian tube conveys the sperm of the male from the uterus to the ovary, and also takes the germ-cell (or ovule, or egg) from the ovary to the uterus.

When a ripe egg is about to be discharged from the ovary, one of these fringe-like processes of the Fallopian tube grasps it and receives it into the mouth of the tube, whence it is conveyed directly into the uterine canal.

Ovary. - On each side of the uterus and in each side of the pelvic cavity is an ovary. It is about one and a half inches in length, three-fourths of an inch in width, and one-third of an inch in thickness. It weighs from one to two drachms, and is an elongated, oval-shaped body.

Object of Ovaries. - The ovaries are the essential organs of generation in the female. In each ovary are large numbers of cells, ovules, or eggs, one of which, at least, is supposed to pass into the uterine cavity with each menstruation. Anatomists tell us that each human ovary contains as many as 30,000 of these ovules, or eggs.


It Makes One Indignant. - When I recall the terrible and almost horrible treatment which women have had to undergo in the past, I cannot help but become deeply indignant. It seems as if all medical study had gone for naught, as if the teachings of nature had been forgotten, and most of all, as if no such thing as delicacy and modesty existed.

This Makes Confirmed Invalids. - It is only necessary for a woman to complain of discomfort in the back, a bearing-down pain, or some unnatural discharge, when some physician says that local treatment, and local treatment only, must be taken.

Women so thoroughly understand what their physician is going to say that they do not consult him, but go on suffering more and more until they become almost confirmed invalids. Others, after they are told what must be done, return home and become gloomy and melancholy over the outlook.

Specialists Are Crazy for Work. - The specialists are so crazy for this kind of work that it seems as though they would gladly scrape and burn the inside of the stomach for dyspepsia, if they could do so! Or, they would take a long probe and go down into the interior of the lungs and apply strong caustics, if such a thing were possible!

The Patient Is Deceived. - If the ache, or the pain, or the discharge was on the back of the hand where it could be seen, and where these “treatments” could be watched, the specialists would have a hard showing indeed, for the patient herself would then see that little good came from these local applications.

But being situated within the body, so that only the physician himself can examine the parts, the patient has to rest content, not knowing whether a little pure water is applied (and the fee collected), or whether the strongest acids which burn deep into the tissues are used (and the fee collected).

Local Treatment Unnecessary. - Now all of this is almost invariably unnecessary. It is not showing ordinary common-sense, not in accord with nature, and not in keeping with the best medical science of to-day.

Yet thousands upon thousands of women are undergoing the worst kind of mental and physical torture in taking these local treatments, while all the savings of the household have to go toward paying the enormous bills of the specialist.

The True Doctor Not Blamed. - Do not misunderstand me, please. I am not talking against doctors, not against the real, true, genuine, noble physicians and surgeons.

There is no nobler profession than that of the physician, none practiced more faithfully than the good old family physician of this country practice theirs. The best of them are glad to help their patients in any way they can, and in spite of professional prejudice, many have tried Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound upon their patients and have been delighted at the wonderful success of the trial.

Nature the Best Teacher. - The trouble with so many of these physicians who call themselves “Specialists on Diseases of Women” is that they get it into their head that they know more than nature. They map out a course of their own, and pay no attention whatever to the laws of health. Just as if a dog barking at the moon would make it shine less brightly!

Now any one who has given any thought to the preservation of the health can readily understand how impossible it would be to cure an inflammation of the uterus or ovaries, or check an unnatural discharge from the vagina, by applying strong acids, nitrate of silver, pure carbolic acid, strong tincture of iodine, or other destroying, caustic, irritating, and dangerous drugs.

All of these must be injurious, must postpone recovery, and if their use be continued for any great length of time must make a cure quite impossible.

A Good Medicine Needed. - Of course what is needed in these cases is something that will restore the natural circulation of the blood through the tissues of the uterus, something that will relieve congestion and cure inflammation. When the swelling and irritation have subsided, then the nerves are no longer irritated, and all pain disappears.

What This Will Do. - Then all these parts become better nourished, the weakened and diseased tissues take on new strength, and all unnatural discharges cease.

When the relaxed ligaments are properly fed and toned up, then they hold the uterus in its natural position, and all bearing-down pains and other symptoms of displacement quickly disappear. Of course this constitutional treatment with Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound is hastened by keeping the parts perfectly clean, which can be easily done with Lydia E. Pinkham’s Sanative Wash.

A Hearty Welcome to the Perfect Cure. - A hearty welcome to the most scientific treatment; a hearty welcome to the most natural, the most easy, and the most perfect method of cure; a hearty welcome to Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound; a hearty welcome to the remedy that never fails to restore the uterus to perfect health and natural position.