Dear Rabbi Kornfeld,
In reference to the Chasam Sofer's problem with reconciling the "aliya" and "lul" to what is known about human anatomy (Insights to 17b), does anyone entertain the possibility that Rashi's pshat could refer to the bladder and urethral orifice, respectively? The problem is that this would leave very little relevant anatomy external to the "lul".
The Rambam seems to be describing the wide ligament of the uterus, which is completely puzzling as a potential source of blood.
I am equally puzzled by the distinction the gemara makes between "gag" and "karka". The vagina is a floppy organ which at rest has virtually no internal space separating the "gag" and "karka". Rambam's pshat doesn't make it any easier--how could one distinguish between blood on the roof or floor of the cervix--an extremely narrow canal?
Dr. Marc Diamond