In the present study, observations of changes on female sexual function by balneal treatment were carried out with female rats with respects to sexual cycle, histological changes in ovary and uterus, histo-chemical changes in pituitary, cholinesterase activity in brain, cholesterol levels in ovary, etc. The results obtained
were as follows. 1) Significant changes of sexual cycle appeared in 47 (62%) out of the 76 rats which were treated with several kinds of artificial balneal water at the temperature of 42°C (for 5 minutes per single course of the balneal treatment, twice daily during 4 weeks). Similar changes of sexual cycle also appeared in the subjects which were treated with the same kinds of balneal water at 37°C, though having showed to be less than the changes in case of the balneal treatment at 42°C. 2) A significant tendency of regulating sexual cycle of rat to normal was demonstrated in the subjects which were treated with artificial balneal sulfer, and on the other hand, a significant tendency of disturbing the cycle was demonstrated in the sUbjects which were treated with artificial balneal acid and alkali. 3) A tendency of extending the period of dioesterus phase in sexual cycle of rat was found in the subjects which were treated with our laboratory' balneal water at 42°C for 10 minutes per single course four times daily during 10 days. In these subjects, it was also demonstrated that the period of the estrus phase tended to be
prolonged. 4) Histological pictures in ovary and uterus indicated normal growth in the subjects of which the sexual cycles were normalized by balneal treatment, whereas indicated an atrophy in the subjects of which the cycles were disturbed. Significant atrophy tended to appear remarkably in the subjects which developed some irregular cycles due to the treatment with artificial balneal acid or alkali. In view point of the daily changes in these tissues, it was demonstrated that atrophic changes appeared at the 10th day after onset of the treatment with a balneal water at 42°C for 5 minutes per single course or with a balneal water at 37°C for 5 minutes, and then turned to normal pictures at the 20th day after onset of the treatment. It was also indicated that remarkable atrophic changes in ovary and uterus appeared immediately after 10 days treatment with a balneal water at 42°C for 10 minutes per single course four times daily, and then turned to show a slight hyperfunction in the ovary at the 10th day after discontinuation of this balneal treatment. 5) A certain correlation was found between cholinesterase activity in the brain of rat and counts of PAS positive cells in the anterior pituitary (on the sexual zone named by Purves, H. D and W. E. Griesbach). Both the activity and the counts decreased at the 10th day after onset of the balneal treatment at the temperature of 42°C for 5 minutes per single course twice daily, and then increased at the 20th day after onset of this treatment. It was also demonstrated that both the activity and the counts decreased significantly at the 10th day after onset of the balneal treatment at 42°C for 10 minutes per single course four times daily, and then increased remarkably at the 10th day after discontinuation of this treatment. 6) A negative correlation was demonstrated between changes of cholesterol levels in ovary and those of cholinesterase activity in brain. Both the levels and the activity increased transitorily at the 10th day after the balneal treatment at 42°C for 5 minutes per single course, and then decreased at the 20th day after onset of the treatment. It was also demonstrated that both the activity and the levels increased at the 10th day after onset of the treatment at 42°C for 10 minutes per single course four times daily, and then decreased after discontinuation of this treatment. From the results mentioned above the following deduction may be drawn: (a) Sexual function is affected apparently by balneal treatment; (b) As to the mode of action of balneal water on sexual function, it is likely that balneal water acts extensively on autonomic nervous system, followed by producing changes in sexual function. In the other words, it seems that balneal water primarily affects on upper central nervous system, i. e. diencephalo-hypophyseo-system, and secondarily produces changes in sexual gland; (c) It was also demonstrated that though a transitory
depression in sexual function appeared individually in some subjects which were treated with extensive stimulative balneal water or over time of balneal treatment, but in even the same subjects hyperfunction often appeared after discontinuation of such a treatment. These evidence should be taken into consideration in case of clinical balneotherapy; (d) In view point that the balneotherapy produces changes in sexual
function through acting on central nervous system, it may be suggested that balneotherapy with conventional hormon therapy could produce the most desirous effect for the treatment of fertility and insufficiency of sexual function.