Historical Perspectives

  • Jane MeijlinkEmail author


Enigmatic painful bladders and mysterious “ulcers” in the urinary bladder first appeared in medical publications in the early nineteenth century. Medical textbooks at the time drew a clear distinction between bladder neuralgia and bladder ulcers or lesions. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century, increasing use of the cystoscope may have led surgeons to focus on visible pathology, including ulcers and lesions, to the neglect of bladder neuralgia with invisible causes. Furthermore, Freudian theories prevalent at that period claiming women were “more prone to neurosis and hysteria” would have led to many women with urogenital pain being dismissed as psychosomatic and hysterical. While the original eighteenth to nineteenth century term “neurosis” referred to a neurological disorder, Freud’s version of neurosis inferred a psychological/hysterical disorder as used by Walsh in this book. This has regrettably been a cause of great harm to women and their health, particularly in urogenital fields, and has not entirely disappeared today.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Painful Bladder FoundationNaardenThe Netherlands

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