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'Prorace' cervical cap, England, 1915-1925

The Mother’s Clinic was based in North London. It supplied this contraceptive cap to women. Contraceptive caps are also called cervical, vault or diaphragm caps. They are a barrier contraceptive. They sit over the cervix and act as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. This ‘Prorace’ brand of cervical cap was a modified version of a French design. Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958) adapted the design to incorporate a higher dome. She believed this encouraged the cap to maintain its shape with the body. The trademarked ‘Prorace’ is related to Stopes’ belief in eugenics. This widely held theory in the early 1900s argued selective breeding could remove ‘undesirables’ from society. Stopes founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control. She opened the first of her birth control clinics in Holloway, North London in 1921. She is best remembered as a feminist and a birth control pioneer.

Object number:

A606510

 

Related links

Glossary:

Glossary: contraception

The use of methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy from sex.

Glossary: cervical cap

A barrier form of contraception. It consists of a thimble-shaped device which fits tightly over the entrance of the cervix. It blocks sperm from entering the uterus and thereby prevents fertilisation. Popular since the mid-1800s, their use has dropped dramatically in recent years.