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Venus in the arms of mercury, bismuth and arsenic: Historical notes on gestational syphilis before penicillin

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posted on 30.05.2018 by Georgiane Garabely Heil Vázquez

Abstract The aim of this article was to discuss the knowledge and medical practices regarding to syphilis, especially gestational Syphilis, in the beginning of the 20th century. The aim goal is to present the medical debate that took place in one of the main medical schools of the country about the consequences of syphilis for the pregnant women and for the fetus or child. The natality was widely defended by doctors who eventually condemned some practices of women that would lead to compromise pregnancy. The methodology of analysis was established from a study case on the thesis defended in June 1913, in the chair of obstetric clinic, by the recently graduated physician Arnaldo Cavalcanti de Albuquerque. It was found by the documentation that the treatments for the period for gestational syphilis were still very precarious and the medical notes extrapoleted the clinical limits charging several times moral values.