The uterus, often called the womb, is the most delicate organ of woman. It is liable to disorders of various kinds. Inflammation of this organ is common occurrence in women. It may be acute or chronic.
The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ, situated in a bonny frame called the pelvis. It is seven centimeter long, five cm. in breadth and about 2.5 cm. thick. Its capacity is roughly three cubic centimeters. The lower narrow end of the uterus which opens into the vagina is called the cervix. The upper broad part is called the body of the uterus or the corpus.
The inflammation which may affect the lining membrane of the uterus is called endometritis. When it affects the muscular coat and substance of the uterus, it is termed metritis. Endometritis may be confined to the lining membrane of the cervix or neck of the uterus or it may attack the lining membrane of the entire organ. Commonly it is called catarrh of uterus.
The symptoms of acute endometriosis are slight fever, headache, general debility, loss of appetite, pain in the back and lower part of the abdomen and pelvis, and itching tendency in the vagina. IN chronic endometriosis, symptoms are the same, but not so severe as in the acute form. The only troublesome symptom is the discharge which may be either clear or opaque and yellow. This disease may produce sterility.
Chill, fever, rapid pulse and breathing, nausea, local pain and discharge are the symptoms of acute metritis. This is a very rare case, but it may occur after confinement on account of infection. Chronic metritis may occur for many reasons and is probably the most common diseases among women. The symptoms are disorders of menstruation, more or less profuse leucorrhoea, constipation, lack of vitality, weakness in the back and the limbs, pain in the lower portion of the back and a tendency to abortion.
Inflammation of the uterus may be caused by sudden chill or by exposure to cold during menstruation. The disease sometimes occurs because of the medicines applied for the purpose of stimulating the menstrual flow. Other causes are the use of irritants to produce abortion, the use of strong purgatives, the insertion of instruments and preventives, and excessive sexual indulgence. Sometimes bicycle riding, hose back riding and dancing may also cause inflammation of the uterus among weak and underweight women. The displacement of the uterus in any form may also lead to this condition.
If the inflammation is caused by a chill or exposure to cold during menstruation, the patient should start the treatment with a hot leg bath. This may be replaced by hot hip bath after two or three days. In case of pain, hot and cold hip baths will be beneficial. The water should be changed from hot to cold, every two minutes and this should be repeated thrice.
As this disease produces the tendency towards constipation, the patient should take an enema once daily with warm water as can be comfortably borne by the patient. It is also advisable to apply alternate compress on the abdomen just before employing enema.
In the chronic form the treatment should aim at increasing the general vitality. To begin with, the patient should resort to fasting on orange juice and water for two or three days. The procedure is to take every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the juice of an orange diluted with warm water on 50 : 50 basis. If the orange juice does not agree, juices of vegetable such as carrots and cucumber may be taken. A warm water enema may be taken each day while fasting to cleanse the bowels.
After the short juice fast, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for about two days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, orange, pineapple peaches and melon.
After the juice fast the patient should follow a well- balanced diet of seeds, nuts, and grains, vegetables and fruits. This diet should be supplemented with milk, yogurt, butter-milk, vegetable oil and honey. A further short juice fast or periods on the all-fruit diet may be necessary at intervals of a month or two, according to the needs of the case. If constipation is habitual, all steps should be taken for its eradication.
The foods which should be avoided are : white flour products, sugar, confectionery, rich cakes, pastries, sweets, refined cereals, flesh foods, rich, heavy and greasy foods, tinned or preserved foods, pickles, condiments, and sauces.
The patient should also undertake moderate exercise and walking in fresh air as it will help increase general health and vitality. Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana, bhujangasana, uttanasana, and shavasana are also beneficial in the treatment of inflammation of the uterus. No real cure is possible unless the system as a whole is treated. The blood has to be purified, the nerves strengthened and the waste deposits accumulated in the system eliminated before the trouble can be completely overcome.