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'Gynaeplaque' model, United States, 1925-1935

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Medical professionals were taught how to insert a cervical cap using this ‘Gynaeplaque’ model. The model is made of a spongy rubber in a black leather carry case which opens to show a section through the female reproductive organs. A cervical cap is a form of contraceptive which is inserted by a woman before sex. It sits over the cervix to act as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. The slightly larger alternative is the diaphragm. Both must be initially fitted by a physician and they can establish the shape of the cervix and the size and type of cap required. This particular ‘Gynaeplaque’ came from Eileen Palmer. She worked with pioneering American birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. This type of model was used in instructing women at the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in the US.

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Glossary: model - representation

Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.

Glossary: contraception

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

Glossary: gynaecology

A branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive system.