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Bronze pessary, Roman, 200 BCE-400 CE

A pessary can be one of three things: a device to support the vagina or uterus; a form of contraception; or a medical treatment. This bronze ring which has two parts was used to support the uterus.

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Glossary: contraception

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

Glossary: uterus

The hollow reproductive organ in female mammals. The uterus is where the foetus develops after conception. The word 'womb' is often used among non-medical people to refer to the same area.

Glossary: pessary

An object placed in the vagina and used to deliver medicine, as a contraceptive or as a muscle support.