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100,000 ova. The greater portion of these, however, disappear, until at
the time of her puberty the number of germs of ova contains only about
30,000 ova. This number is far more than the woman will ever need, and
is Nature's provision against diseased portions of the Ovaries,
accidents, etc. Only one ovum ripens and matures each month from puberty
until menopause, so that the woman really requires only about 300 to 350
ova on the average. This liberality on the part of Nature, however, does
not begin to approach her lavishness in the case of seed of the male,
for in his case while only one spermatozoon is required to fertilize an
ovum (and in fact only one is permitted to do so), we find that in each
normal act of ejaculation of semen by the male over 250,000 spermatozoa
The ripening and discharge of the egg from the Ovaries, and the
consequent congestion above referred to, accompanied by what is called
Menstruation, occurs regularly each lunar month (28 days). What is
called Ovulation consists of the monthly maturing and expulsion of the
ripe ovum or egg, while Menstruation (as we shall see later on) consists
of the monthly discharge of blood and mucus from the inner surface of
the Uterus; the two processes occur in connection with each other, yet
neither can be considered as the cause of the other.
MENSTRUATION. It may be well to call your attention at this point to the
process known as Menstruation, or "the monthly flow," or "the courses"
of women. Menstruation is the monthly flow of bloody fluid which occurs
in all healthy (non-pregnant) women from puberty to the menopause or
"change of life."
By "PUBERTY" is meant the age at which a woman begins her period of
possible child-bearing experience. In temperate climates the average age
of puberty is about fourteen years, while in tropical countries it is
often a year or so earlier, and in arctic countries a year or so later.
The time, however, depends materially upon the temperament, race,
hygiene, and general environment of the individual girl. At this period
the girl gradually changes into the young woman. Her figure changes, her
bust develops, her hips broaden, and her mental and emotional nature
undergoes a change. Also the menstrual flow begins to manifest at this
time; at first scanty and irregular, but gradually changing into the
characteristic flow each month.
At the period of puberty, the girl undergoes marked emotional changes.
She becomes very "emotional" as a rule, and quite "sensitive." She
becomes filled with strange, unaccountable longings, ideas, and
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