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Disposable cannulae, United Kingdom, 1981

Disposable cannulae are tube-like instruments designed to be used in early abortions. Two are pictured here. In this case, the cannulae were to be used up to the seventh week of pregnancy. They are involved in the technique called vacuum aspiration, the most common form of abortion in early pregnancy. It involves the artificial dilation of the cervix, usually by manual techniques or drugs. This allows access to the uterus. A cannula is then inserted into the uterus which is attached, via tubing, to the aspirator. This acts as a suction pump. A vacuum is created once the syringe rod is pulled. The contents of the uterus are then extracted.

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Glossary: pregnancy

The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.

Glossary: cannula

A tube for insertion into a duct or cavity in order to drain off fluid or give medication.

Glossary: abortion

No description.