This name is given to a bladder like substance, occasionally found growing in the womb. It is filled with a white or yellowish fluid. Sometimes a bundle of them grow together, like a bunch of grapes. Some are elongated, like a bean, and have a sort of claw, by which they are attached; others are shaped like an egg.
Those with a claw are generally supposed to be living beings, like worms in the bowels. When expelled from the womb, they move about if placed in warm water.
The Causes which produce these singular growths are obscure. Probably whatever improperly excites or irritates the uterine organs may produce these vesicular bodies.
The Symptoms may be easily mistaken for those either of pregnancy, or of water or inflammation in the womb.
From the growth of these bodies, the bowels may enlarge, the breasts swell, and the menses stop. If to these symptoms be added sickness at the stomach, the woman, if married, feels confident she is in the family way. There is no certain method of correcting this mistake, until the collection of bladder like bodies is expelled from the womb.
It is rare that these bodies appear in the virgin woman. They are supposed to be connected, in some way, with imperfect conception.
Treatment. We can seldom say absolutely that hydatids exist, until we see them expelled. Whatever will produce contractions of the womb, will cause their expulsion; but it will not do to give these remedies indiscreetly, lest the cause be one of real pregnancy instead of hydatids. When once reasonably assured that hydatids do exist, the only logical treatment consists in their removal. This is best effected by the dilatation of the womb and a thorough curetting or scraping as described under hemorrhages. Ergot often causes sufficient contraction of the womb to drive out these masses, and may be judiciously tried before resorting to the curette. It should be given in teaspoonful doses every four hours fill pains ensue.
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