Chapter

Function and Structure in the Female Body

Yi-Li Wu

in Reproducing Women

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260689
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947610 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520260689.003.0004
Function and Structure in the Female Body

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This chapter analyzes how late imperial doctors understood matters of the womb, blood, and the ensemble of bodily channels that link these two elements and endow the female body with its procreative potential. This chapter also looks at the case of Ms. Cheng: She had given birth to five children by the age of twenty-two, and for the next eight years after that, she stopped menstruating and was unable to conceive. To bring back her fertility, Ms.Cheng's family hired a succession of fuke experts who administered her doses of different medicines, but the attempt to restore her fertility failed. So they decided to take her to Doctor Sun Yukui. Doctor Sun said that Ms. Cheng had been misdiagnosed, that the real cause of her infertility was spleen dampness engendering phlegm, causing fat to fill up the womb, and once the fat could be stopped from blocking the womb, her menses would again flow.

Keywords: blood; womb; fertility; fuke; fat; female body; imperial doctors

Chapter.  14829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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