Hippocrates of Cos, Diseases of Women 1

LCL 538: 8-9

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1. VIII 10 LittréΤὰ δὲ ἀμφὶ γυναικείων νούσων· φημὶ γυναῖκα ἄτοκον ἐοῦσαν ἢ τετοκυῖαν χαλεπώτερον καὶ θᾶσσον ἀπὸ καταμηνίων νοσέειν· ὅταν γὰρ τέκῃ, εὐροώτερά οἱ τὰ φλέβιά ἐστιν ἐς τὰ καταμήνια, εὔροα δέ σφε ποιέει ἡ λοχείη κάθαρσις. καὶ ἢν καταρραγὴ <ᾖ>2 τοῦ σώματος, τὰ πλησιάζοντα μάλιστα τῆς τε κοιλίης καὶ τῶν μαζῶν καταρρήγνυται· καταρρήγνυται δὲ καὶ τὸ ἄλλο σῶμα· ὑφ᾽ ὅτευ δὲ γίνεται, εἴρηταί μοι ἐν τῇ Φύσει τοῦ Παιδίου τοῦ ἐν Τόκῳ. καταρραγέντος δὲ τοῦ σώματος, ἀνάγκη τὰς φλέβας μᾶλλον στομοῦσθαι καὶ εὐροωτέρας γίνεσθαι ἐς τὰ καταμήνια, καὶ τὰς μήτρας μᾶλλον στομοῦσθαι, οἷα τοῦ παιδίου χωρήσαντος διὰ σφέων καὶ βίην καὶ τόνον3 παρασχόντος· καὶ τούτων ὧδε ἐχόντων, τὰ καταμήνια ἀκαματώτερον ἀποκαθαίρεται ἡ γυνή, ἐπὴν λοχείων ἔμπειρος γένηται. εἰ δὲ καί τι πάθημα τῇ γυναικὶ γένοιτο τῇ ἤδη τετοκυίῃ, ὥστε τὰ καταμήνια μὴ δύνασθαι καθαρθῆναι, ῥηϊτέρως τὸν πόνον οἴσει ἢ εἰ ἄτοκος ἦν· ἠθάδες γὰρ αἱ




1. Concerning diseases of women: I assert that a woman who has not borne children becomes ill from her menses more seriously and sooner than one who has borne children. For when a woman has given birth, her small vessels allow a freer flow for her menses, since the lochial cleaning makes them fluent. Also, if there has been an involution of her body, it is the parts nearest to the cavity and breasts that involute, although the rest of the body involutes too—why this occurs I have explained in Nature of the Child in Childbirth.1 As the body involutes, the vessels are forced to dilate more and to allow a freer flow for the menses; the uterus too must dilate more, as the child moving through it causes straining and stretching. These things being so, a woman will clean out her menses with less difficulty once she has experienced the lochia. Also, if some condition that prevents the menses from being cleaned befalls a woman who has previously borne children, she will bear the trouble more easily than if she had not borne children, since her uterus and the rest of her

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-diseases_women_i.2018