The Leiden native Jan Steen made his fame as a masterly narrator of humorous stories from the lives of the Dutch burghers. This work represents a popular subject with a moral subtext. Steen´s contemporaries must have guessed that the woman´s illness is the consequence of love games. The maid typically holds the urinal, for examining the colour of urine was a common form of diagnosing pregnancy. The lute on the wall, in its form reminiscent of female body, and the picture of the sea and ships above the entrance are the metaphors of lovers´ relationships.