Mal de madre: la patología tras del nombre




Spanish Golden Age, mal de madre, uterus, dysmenorrhea, women's health


During the Golden Age in Spain, poets frequently referenced the "mal de madre," a female disorder whose symptoms and treatments varied widely across literary and medical texts. Rooted in ancient Hippocratic beliefs about the uterus, interpretations of this ailment ranged from retention of female seed to insufficient menstrual blood. Medical figures like Agustín Farfán and Juan de Barrios explored its causes and remedies, often linking it to issues like semen retention and menstrual irregularities. Celestina, in Fernando de Rojas's play, humorously suggests sexual intercourse as a remedy. References in erotic poetry of the time also allude to the cure of this ailment through sexual activity. The "mal de madre" was associated with cyclic abdominal pains, likely indicative of dysmenorrhea. Despite varied interpretations and treatments, these references reflect a concern for women's health and efforts to alleviate menstrual discomfort during the Golden Age.




How to Cite

Kriz, K. (2022) “Mal de madre: la patología tras del nombre”, Avisos de Viena. Vienna, Austria, 4, pp. 73–79. doi: 10.25365/adv.2022.4.7526.