What does the term Gynaecology mean?
Dr. Kamela Khalid
Mosque road, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Gynecology or gynaecology is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems (vagina, uterus and ovaries) and the breasts. Literally, outside medicine, it means "the science of women". Its counterpart is andrology, which deals with medical issues specific to the male reproductive system.
The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus is the oldest known medical text of any kind. Dated to about 1800 B.C., it deals with women's complaints—gynaecological diseases, fertility, pregnancy, contraception, etc.
The text is divided into thirty-four sections, each section dealing with a specific problem and containing diagnosis and treatment; no prognosis is suggested. Treatments are non surgical, comprising applying medicines to the affected body part or swallowing them. The womb is at times seen as the source of complaints manifesting themselves in other body parts.
The Hippocratic Corpus contains several gynaecological treatises dating to the 5th/4th centuries BC. The gynaecological treatise Gynaikeia by Soranus of Ephesus (1st/2nd century AD) is extant (together with a 6th-century Latin paraphrase by Muscio, a physician of the same school). He was the chief representative of the school of physicians known as the "Methodists".
J. Marion Sims is widely considered the father of modern gynaecology. Now criticized for the short comings. He developed some of his techniques by operating on slaves, many of whom were not given anesthesia.