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May 13, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(19):1537-1538. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500460045010

The most evident and best known functions of the thyroid are those connected with the processes of metabolism and with certain nervous, phenomena, but it is also certain that the thyroid has a marked influence on sexual functions, particularly in the female. The swelling of the gland during menstruation, sexual activity and pregnancy, its relatively greater size and much more frequent disease in the female, are all evidence of this influence. Myxedematous patients are usually sexually inactive, and cretins generally fail to mature, although rare instances of pregnancy in cretins have been reported. As the thyroid does not normally functionate to any considerable extent before birth, the mother is called on to furnish thyroid secretion both for her offspring and for herself. Halsted observed that puppies whose mothers had been deprived of most of the thyroid before pregnancy had very much larger thyroids at birth than normal puppies, indicating an