The Middle Ages and Infertility

One woman’s thoughts on artificial reproductive technology and its roots in medieval medicine. Very interesting. Exquisite Corpse – A Journal of Letters and Life

Women’s monthly bleeding is a calendrical system, an involuntary periodic flow that keeps time in accordance with the moon. No wonder, then, that the voluntary letting of blood to restore humoral equilibrium was aligned with heavenly bodies whose movement divided day from night and one month from another. Zodiac Man may claim to represent a universal medical standard for the practice of phlebotomy. In fact, however, his is but a mirror image of the power that Nature vested in the rhythms of female bleeding. How to appropriate the power of woman’s fertility is a matter for Culture to answer. Gazing into the sky, I could only rail against my fate. I was locked in a cosmic struggle. And I was losing.

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