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..PREGNANCY            .

This is sometimes resorted to by prostitutes. The usual procedure is to
insert a piece of sola pith as large as the vagina can contain and then to
make the unfortunate girl sit in a tub of water. The pith acts as a sponge

tent and dilates the vagina. The size
of the pith is increased gradually for
further dilatation. Thus, the hymen is
often lacerated.

5.   Ulceration      from       diphtheria
noma,    or    other    diseases.   In   such
cases the whole hymen is destroyed
leaving   a   scar   only.    Sir   Bernard
Spilsbury3  reports   a  case  in which
destruction  of  a  child's  hymen  was
due   to  threadworms,   and  until  the
cause was not known suspicion of foul
play     was     entertained.     Persistent
pruritus in children is likely to lead
to injury of the hymen.

6.    Clots of menstrual blood passing
through the vagina, but this is highly

Fig. 137.—Intact hymen in a pregnant

woman; it had to be ruptured during

labour.    (From a photograph lent

kindly by Dr. G. B. Sahay.")

Breasts.—These are firm, elastic and hemi-spherical, with a small un-
developed nipple surrounded by an areola, which is pink in fair women and
dark brown in dark women. The breasts become large and flabby by
frequent handling and sexual intercourse, as well as by masturbation, but
are not affected by a single act of coitus.


In courts of law the question of pregnancy may be disputed under the
following circumstances : —

(1)   When a woman advances pregnancy as a plea to avoid ^attendance
in court as a witness in an important trial   It must be mentioned that a
pregnant woman will be excused attendance in court only if a physician
certifies to the fact that delivery is imminent or that there is fear of the
occurrence of serious1 complication if she were forced to attend court.

(2)   When a condemned woman pleads pregnancy as  a bar to hard
labour or execution.   Under section 382 of the Indian Criminal Procedure
Code, the High Court is the only judicial court which can postpone the
execution of a sentence of death confirmed by it, or commute it to trans-
portation for life, after it is satisfied from the Civil Surgeon's certificate that
the  woman  is  pregnant.   The  usual  certificate  required  from  the  Civil
Surgeon in such a case is as to whether the woman is " quick with child "
or not.   In England by the Sentence of Death   (Expectant Mothers)  Act,
1931, sentence to penal servitude instead of sentence of death is to be passed
on a woman condemned of an offence punishable with death if she is found
to  be  pregnant.   The  trial  jury,  without  being   re-sworn,   will   have   to
determine the question of pregnancy from the evidence adduced before it
either on the part of the woman or on the part of the Crown.

(3)   When a woman feigns pregnancy soon after her husband's <|NS%4
so as to defraud the rightful heir by producing a' supposititious faejr*        ^
estate, the heir-at-law may apply to the court to order an inqui

a.   Lancet, May 7, 1932, p,.990, f