Women were supposed only to want to be motherly, and the idea that they could wish to be sexual was terrifying.
The first removal of ovaries in Britain was performed in 1824 by John Lizars, an Edinburgh surgeon and lecturer in anatomy and physiology.
Isaac Baker Brown, a member of the Obstetrical Society of London, insisted insanity resulted from excessive desire and recommended clitoridectomy - surgical excision of the clitoris.
He claimed this would stop hysteria developing into spinal irritation and on to idiocy, mania and even death.
He had his wife confined in an asylum for four months, but she worsened and would wake in the night in a 'frenzy'.
He maintained that he performed this surgery to relieve the suffering of women, but some of his colleagues believed the only people who benefited, financially and professionally, were the surgeons.Some menopausal women came to physicians suffering from 'pent-up sexual longings' which were, they said, much worse than mere pain.'No sooner does night come on than I am prey to such dreadfully sinful desires that drive me mad,' said one.On December 14, he performed his 'usual operation'.A week later, she was sleeping better, but 'will not own to being better' and complained of 'her skin being dry, and burning hot'.