Wishbone or gold spring pessary, Europe, 1880-1936
- Science Museum, London
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This type of gold wishbone stem pessary is an intra-cervical device (IUC). It was developed in Germany around 1880. Intra-cervical devices came into use as a contraceptive towards the end of the 1800s. The flat end of the stem pessary sat against the vaginal wall with a stem protruding into the uterus through the cervix. An IUC works after conception. It stops a newly fertilised embryo implanting and growing in the lining of the uterus. IUCs were mostly surpassed by the intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD sits entirely within the uterus, reducing the risk of bacterial transfer between the cervix and uterus. This can lead to infection and sterility. maker: Unknown maker Place made: Europe