October 24, 2013

Fertility Fodder from the 40's

Did you know...
According to this book, "Since the very dawn of civilization efforts have been made to devise a satisfactory test for pregnancy...during the Middle Ages the omniscient physician merely gazed at the urine and in this way claimed to be able to diagnosticate not only pregnancy but many other conditions."
Well, that sounds reliable.  Luckily now there are real tests like blood work and freakishly dimensional ultrasounds.
But back in the 40's they were "lucky" to have other methods of determining pregnancy.  Such as the following:
"We have at last a sound and trustworthy test for pregnancy and interestingly enough it is performed, like the tests of old, on urine.  In carrying out the test a small quantity of morning urine is injected into a mouse or rabbit.  If the urine comes from a pregnant woman, definite and characteristic changes are produced in the ovaries of the animal within forty-eight or seventy-two hour."
First of all, can I get a shout out for "morning urine".  Love that term.
Second of all, that might sound grotesque and barbaric, but to me it's much better than the next method discussed in this chapter, "LABORATORY TESTS".
"During recent years a similar test which makes use of the South African toad as the test animal has gained wide popularity.  Within eight to eighteen hours after the urine of a pregnant woman has been injected into female toads of this variety, myriads of eggs are extruded which can be plainly seen on he floor of the aquarium in which the toads are kept.  This test is often loosely referred to as the "frog test".
Sometimes change is a bad thing.  Like when they take the Buffalo Chicken sandwich off the menu at Hardee's.  Or when Facebook makes you manually disable a new setting that allows the world to steal your private pictures. 
But when it comes to injecting toads and rabbits with our urine, I like change.  I like it a lot.  I'd rather give a lab tech my blood than a toad my morning urine any day of the week.

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