Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inflammation of Cervix - Causes & Symptoms

Roger Mitnick  /  at  7:44 PM  /  1 comment

We have hitherto been considering inflammation as affecting the 
whole substance of the womb, but cases every now and then 
occur, where the upper parts are perfectly healthy, the disease 
being confined to the mouth and neck of the organ. The general 
symptoms very nearly resemble those of hysteritis, described in the 
former part of the lecture, but they occur in a slighter degree : 
patients complain, for example, of the same kind of uneasiness in 
the back and loins, great irritability of the bladder, with derange- 
ment of stomach, A dull heavy pain, at the upper part of the 
vagina, is also complained of, with an uncomfortable bearing-down 
sensation, this latter feeling often extending to the rectum. A 
white, opaque, slimy mucous discharge from the vagina is always 
present, the peculiarity of which will always assist the practitioner 
in his diagnosis, as it is present in no other variety of uterine 
disease. I will read to you a very accurate definition of its cha- 
racter, from the work of Sir Charles Clarke, " On the Diseases of 
Females," a book which ought to be in the library of every medi- 
cal man, anxious to obtain information upon those subjects on 
which it treats, for it is clearly the product of experience and ob- 
servation, not the act of a compiler. " This discharge," he observes, 
"is opaque, of a perfectly white colour, and it resembles, in con- 
sistence, a mixture of starch and water made without heat, or thin 
cream ; it is easily washed from the fingers after an examination, 
and is capable of being diffused through water, rendering it turbid. 
A morbid state of the glands of the cervix of the uterus, probably 
gives rise to this discharge ; at least the cases, in which it comes 
away, are those in which the symptoms are referred to that part ; 
and when pressure is made upon it, the woman experiences con- 
siderable pain." In order to judge accurately, it is necessary, as Sir 
Char es Clarke rightly observes, to make the examination after the 
female has been for some time perfectly quiet, as the common 

air becoming entangled with it.

drawn by Sir C. C. : — " Such a mixture of mucus and air will not 
render the water turbid with which it may be combined, and this 
forms a distinguishing mark between hand the white mucous dis- 
charge." The great difference in the quantity will also assist in 
the diagnosis between this and the leucorrhceal discharge, the latter 
often flowing in large, whilst the former always occurs in small 
quantities. After the disease has existed for a lengthened space of 
time, this white discharge is no longer observable, the secretion 
becomes decidedly purulent, and sometimes streaked with blood, 
so that, in ordinary cases, we do not perceive the diagnostic dis- 
charge, for the female at the beginning of the affection feels no 
inconvenience, with the exception of trifling pain ; this, probably, 
too little to excite apprehension, or even attention, much less does 
she think it necessary to send for medical advice. Still, however, 
on inquiring into the early symptoms, you will be told that this 
appearance has been observed. 

A very careful vaginal examination is necessary before giving 
an opinion respecting the nature of the complaint. You will feel 
the os uteri to be tumid, the lips of which communicate to the 
finger the feeling of ^edematous effusion. Pressure, I have already 
told you, gives a certain degree of pain, though, in many cases, 
this is not a very urgent symptom. The finger when withdrawn, 
is sometimes mixed with purulent matter, mingled with blood. 
The freedom of every part but the os uteri from disease, and the 
total absence of fcetor, will prevent you from confounding the 
disease with carcinoma of the uterus. From what has been 
already said, with regard to the few unpleasant symptoms pro- 
duced, it is reasonable to believe that many of the cases get well 
without the medical man being referred to at all ; at the same 
time it must be acknowledged, that the consequences of the disease 
are occasionally most painful, and, therefore, when the opportunity 
is afforded, means for arresting the progress of the inflammation, 
or for removing its effects, ought to be promptly had recourse to. 
The functions of the uterus are not necessarily interfered with, at 
any rate until the disease has existed for several months ; menstrua- 
tion and conception appear to take place just as readily as at other 

Posted in: Posted on: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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