Ancient Medicine: A Comparison of Ancient Medical Practices Relating to Conception, Pregnancy, and Labor and Delivery in Antiquity and the Present
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The art and practice of medicine has survived for as long as humans themselves. Experimentation and the discoveries of previous practitioners have provided the means necessary to reach the heights of medical knowledge known today. Medicine in the ancient world, although somewhat archaic, functioned similarly to that of medicine today through its ability to treat successfully many illnesses and provide people with the general health care necessary for survival. By specifically focusing on women and the treatment of conception, pregnancy, and labor and delivery an obvious change as well as a surprising similarity can be seen in the techniques implemented. A close examination of the procedures concerning women during conception, pregnancy, and labor and delivery in the ancient world, followed by a comparison with practitioners of today, provide a comprehensible understanding as to the efficacy of the ancient practices considered below. To begin the process of examining the effectiveness of practices used by ancient physicians regarding women requires a close look at the methods of conception, pregnancy, and labor and delivery they employed.
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