Stem pessary, Europe, c. 1920
Stem pessaries are intrauterine devices (IUDs). They consist of a rubber, metal, or glass stem attached to a cup or button to hold the stem upright and prevent it becoming lost in the uterus. This example is made of glass. It dates from the 1920s. An IUD works after conception. It stops a newly fertilised embryo implanting and growing in the lining of the uterus. The IUD is the most inexpensive long-term reversible method of contraception available. Smaller, plastic IUDs are still used.
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The use of methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy from sex.
Glossary: intra-uterine device