Birth control, contraception or prevention of pregnancy is often a life saving procedure in case of serious ill health of the woman, when pregnancy is dangerous to her life, or in the case of a woman to whom normal delivery of a child is not possible and who has already been subjected to one or more Cesarean operations.
Contraception should also be practiced in cases where the man is afflicted with a serious disease which will affect the health and life of the offspring, as in the case of active tuberculosis, or cancer.
Habitual alcoholism in the man should be a legitimate reason for the woman to adopt contraceptive methods.
In New York state, the giving of contraceptive advice by physician has been extended by law to include cases of extreme economic distress and where the pregnancies have been too many and too frequent so as to be of distinct danger to the health and life of the woman.
There is no question that the near future will see much further liberalization of the law in this respect in all states of the union.
Statistical figures have been recently brought forward to show the staggering quantities of contraceptive articles produced, imported and sold in the United States, and it seems that the people are far ahead of the legislators and the medical profession in this respect.
The sales in the open market run into many millions of dollars a years.The articles sold for this purpose are harmful and often useless.
Since they are so universally used by the people of the United States, I shall discuss them in detail for the sake of the protection of health and life.
The following discussion on contraceptives is intended for the information of physician readers of this web.Only a doctor can decide which method is the best for any particular individual.
Bichloride of Mercury, lysol,oxyquinoline, and all advertised preparations with a chlorine smell, no matter under what fancy and disguised name, are positively harmful and injurious to the tissues and to the general health when used for douching or washing.
Bichloride and the other poisonous and irritating substances used in the vagina have caused serious inflammations of the generative organs and also severe injury to the kidneys and other internal organs.
I cannot use too many epithets in condemnation of the sale of bichloride of mercury for contraceptive purposes.This violent poison should not be found in any home unless prescribed by a doctor for a septic wound.
The safe period- Some physicians (notably Ogino and Knaus) claim that maturation and passage of the female germ cell (ovum) from the ovary to the tube (ovulation) takes place at about the 9th to 14th or 18th day, counting from the first day menstruation started.
These few days at the middle of the intermenstrual period were named the "fertile days" during which pregnancy will take place.
The 9 days preceding and the 10 or more days following these "fertile days" were called the "non-fertile" or "safe periods," during which a woman will not become pregnant.
My advice is not to place any reliance on these "safe periods". Close investigation by many physicians has proved these safe periods to be very unsafe indeed.
The fact that the male germ cell has been found to survive in the female tubes for about two weeks after cohabitation, and the fact that women can become pregnant during the nursing period, before puberty and after the menopause, when no menstruation takes place, proves that ovulation and menstruation follow no definite and absolute rhythm and there is, therefore, no definite and predictable safe period.
The gold pessary or pessaries made of other metals or of hard rubber or plastics are least protective and most dangerous to the health of the woman.
They irritate and injure the womb and have frequently required operation for their removal. They should never be used.
Interruption of the sex act to discharge the spermatic fluid outside, which has been practiced since ancient times, is unsafe as a preventive of conception and harmful to the nervous systems of most people, male and female.
Tipping or turning of the womb spoken of by many women is absolutely worthless as a means of preventing conception. About 10 % of women are born with their wombs turned, but that does not prevent them from getting pregnant.
The forceful spray or bulb syringe is unreliable as a contraceptive by itself and in conjunction with another method. The ordinary douche or washing is sufficient. The occlusion and forceful distention of the vagina involved in the use of this type of syringe is likely to injure the tissues, and cause great harm by forcing fluid into the womb.
Sterilization of men and women by operation is outrageous and should not be attempted except for the hopelessly ill epileptic.
Attempts, by many women in despair, to interrupt pregnancy by inserting catheters or other articles sold in the open market all over the country are most dangerous to health and life.
Some women try to produce abortion by sticking their wombs with all sorts of sharp and dull instruments (from nut picks and knitting needles to toothbrush handles) and the result is, of course, permanent injury or blood poisoning.
The emmenagogue drugs advertised and sold openly in every city, town and hamlet all over the country are not only absolutely useless, but are positively injurious to the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract and poisonous to the entire system.
In order safeguard your health and life, take no contraceptive advice from neighbors, druggists, or other ignorant people. If you are legally entitled to such advice, consult your doctor, who will advise you and guide you safely.
One cannot give a hard-and-fast discussion here on the practice of birth control, as there are matters of religious principles, also state and federal laws, which concern this subject.
Thus, it is a matter for the married couple to consider and to discuss with their family physician ( and in some cases their clergyman) to find their own particular solution about the size of the family which they desire and should have