Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on March 6, 1968 · Page 17
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 17

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Tucson, Arizona
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Wednesday, March 6, 1968
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Page 17
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PAGE 18 Doctor Alvarez Dr. Walter C. Alvarez is emeritus consultant in medicine of the Mayo Clinic and emeritus professor of medicine of the Mayo Foundation. T U C S O N D A I L Y C I T I Z E N WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 1968 OSTEOCHONDRITIS People, usually elderly, write that their doctor diagnosed os- teochondritis, but would not explain what it meant. OSTEO means bone, CHONDRO means cartilage (gristle) and -ITIS means inflammation. In joints in which two bones rub cne against tiie other, the contacting surfaces are made smo-"- "'!th a coating of gristle. As we human beings grow older, the contact surfaces of two of the joints that carry our body weight -- the hip and the knee joints -- tend to get worn down, the gristle gets worn off, roughened and pitted and, as a result, when the two bones rub one against the other it hurts. And the worst of this is that so little can be done in the way of treatment. The two ends of the bone cannot be covered again with slick cartilage and, because the disease is not due to any inflammation, cortisone- like drugs usually cannot help. Experts tell me, if the pain is very severe, they may suggest that a surgeon operate to make the two bones stick toge'her so that there will be no more of the painful motion between them. Sometimes, as in 'he ip, a new joinl can be made out of metal, and this may give relief in perhaps 8 in 10 eases. , THE INFERTILE MAN In a fine article in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. M. E. Davis, the eminent gynecologist of the University of Chicago, we learn that a good deal can be done to help many infertile wives, but practically nothing can be done for the infertile husband. Experts in treating infertility tell me that sometimes it helps a man with a low sperm count to go without intercourse for two weeks so as to gather an accumulation of sperm. The couple should have intercourse when the wife's fertility is greatest -- when she has just ovulated. Then there is a chance that she can become pregnant. Much more can be done now for women, sometirries with drugs to stimulate ovulation (the extrusion of a tiny ovum (egg) from an ovary). At last some success is being obtained with operations designed to open closed tubes. But as yet I have little faith in this type of work. One can open the tubes, but the question remains whether they then will function well enough to carry an ovum safely to the womb. The big thing needed in all cases, before doing a lot of complicated things to the unhappy woman, is to examine the man. This done, a laboratory expert may say, "The fault is all his." How I symoathize with the millions of "barren women" who have taker much blame and suffered much shame when it v :.s the husband who was at fault all the time. In the old days before microscopes were available, no one could say that the husband was at fault. ABORTION Medical World News reports, as one would expect, that women, who have to bear children, are more liberal about abortion than men. According to a poll of 5,514 married women under 55 years, 87 per cent approved of abortion when pregnancy would seriously endanger the mother's health. Strangely, only 52 per cent favored being kind to a woman who had been raped and only 50 per cent favored abortion when there is good reason to expect that the child will be deformed. All but a few of the women wanted the child to be forced into this world even if he would be without a father or in a family in which he would not be wanted, or in which there would be little food and no money for an education. Thirty per cent of Catholic college graduates were against abortion for any reason. I find no comment on the fact that these restrictions have to do only with very poor mothers. 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