We saw that organochemical substances derived from our own tissues might be active in the same way. We pointed out that if the thyroid gland is removed radically in childhood, maturity will be retarded, or may be suppressed altogether. It cannot be doubted, after Steinach's experiments on animals, that the organic substances from testis and ovary have at least an equal influence in this direction.
This theory is corroborated by the fact that maturity can be produced artificially at other periods of life, if one can succeed in starting the production of the respective organochemical substances.
Thus, Professor Steinach has succeeded in restoring fully the formation of reproductive cells in rats sterile from old age. He did this by artificially exciting the secretion of the respective organochemical substances. An obvious, though temporary, rejuvenation resulted. In male rats, the ligature and section of one sperm-duct was all that was needed. This caused the sperm-producing element in the corresponding testicle to atrophy, and the other element to hypertrophy. In female rats, however, implantation of a young ovary was necessary.
Such "rejuvenation treatment," as it is called, has been successful, though as yet only over a short period, in the treatment of impotence in men. It might possibly be also effective in curing frigidity in women.
These radical operations should, however, not be undertaken too lightly, for such a condition is sometimes Nature's method of ensuring mental repose.