Medieval Men were Diagnosed with Infertility, Prescribed Treatments

Men could be held responsible for the failure to produce children as far as medieval times, a new study medical and religious texts has shown. The analysis popular medical and religious books by the University Exeter shows that the 13th century, widely-circulated medical texts recognized the possibility male infertility, including sterility and "unsuitable seed." A urine test to determine if a husband or a wife was to blame for the absence children in a marriage was even devised, and medical recipes drawn up as a treatment for men. It has been widely assumed that women in medieval England were blamed for childlessness and religious discourse about infertility focused on women. If men were deemed responsible for the failure a couple to produce children, this was in cases sexual dysfunction where it was obvious the man was unable to have intercourse. But Catherine Rider, a historian at the University Exeter, found doctors the period recognized that sexually-active men might be able to conceive a child, and evidence that medieval medics were aware this when treating childless couples. Rider found evidence that in 13th-15th century England male infertility […]

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