This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
What we have said of the extent, the virulence, and the calamitous results on the individual, his offspring, and the nation, of these, diseases, must evoke in every mind the earnest desire to see some regulations devised and carried out which will limit, and, if possible, annihilate this destructive scourge. The nature of syphilis leads us to hope for this consummation. It is strictly contagious in nature, transmitted, that is, by contact only. The problem, therefore, resolves itself simply how to avoid contact.
Unquestionably the chief though by no means the only source of contagion is in prostitution, a subject therefore which we shall shortly proceed to consider at length.
It is important, however, for all men to be aware of the fact, that gonorrhoea not at all unfrequently arises from other cause beside contagion. Ignorance of this has within our knowledge led to cruel accusations, utter disruption of families, and untold misery. Dr. Ricord mentions the case of a young man who even committed suicide, because he was seized with this disease on his wedding trip, and ignorantly concluded that his bride was unchaste. When relations are had with a woman who suffers from an acrid discharge, or at the time of her monthly illness, or when the indulgence is excessive, or the excitement over-intense, it is by no means unusual for the male to have as the result an inflammation and discharge, which are quite the same as this disease, even being communicable.
A very recent writer, Prof. A. W. Stein, of New York, says in an address read February, 1870, before the New York Medical Journal Association: "It cannot be too often mentioned that gonorrhoea is not always the result of illicit or impure intercourse. It is of the greatest importance that we should fully appreciate this fact, for the most disastrous consequences have resulted from ignorance of it."All writers are agreed that the conditions we have mentioned in the female may give rise to it.
Such causes, therefore, should be scrupulously avoided; and also we should be not over-apt to condemn the person, male or female, who thus must bear the suspicion of unchastity.