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.
The most common cause of a temporary character is an excessive sensitiveness of the part. This may be so great that the severest pain is caused by the introduction of a narrow sound, and the conjugal approaches are wholly un-bearable. Inflammation of the passage to the bladder, of Borne of the glands, and various local injuries, are also abso lute but temporary barriers. Any of these are possible, and no man with a spark of feeling in his composition will urge his young wife to gratify his desires at the expense of actual agony to herself.
Conditions of this kind require long and careful medical treatment, and though it is disagreeable to have recourse to this, the sooner it is done, the better for both parties.
A permanent obstacle is occasionally interposed by a hymen of unusual rigidity. It is rare, indeed, that this membrane resists, but occasionally it foils the efforts of the husband, and leads to a belief on his part that his wife is incapable of matrimony. A suit for divorce was brought in a Pennsylvania court some years since on this alleged ground. An examination by experts, however, revealed the fact that no actual incapacity existed, but merely a removable one, from this cause.
A complete or partial absence of the vagina forms an absolute and generally incurable obstacle to conjugal duty on the part of the woman. Such a condition may arise from an injury received earlier in life, and which has allowed the sides to contract and grow together; or she may have been so from birth. Surgeons have devised various operations for the relief of this malformation, but they are usually dangerous and of uncertain results. No woman should seek a matrimonial connection when thus afflicted, and when it is not discovered until after marriage, the proper course is either a separation or a voluntary renunciation of marital privileges.