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Set of 12 ‘Clinocap’ diaphragms, England, 1940-1950

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A diaphragm sits over the cervix. It is a barrier contraceptive. It acts as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. The set of 12 ‘Clinocap’ diaphragms are pictured on the right. The corresponding size of measuring rings (A606467) is on the left. A physician used the rings to establish the correct size for each woman. ‘Clinocap’ diaphragms were made especially for Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958). The Mother’s Clinic supplied them to women. 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.

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Glossary: leaflet

Use for small printed works consisting of one sheet folded and not stitched or bound. For larger printed works, but generally of fewer than 80 pages, often with paper covers, use "pamphlets."

Glossary: contraception

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

Glossary: diaphragm

A barrier form of contraception. It consists of a dome-shaped latex or silicone disc with a flexible rim that covers the cervix. In combination with a spermicide it blocks sperm from entering the uterus and thereby prevents fertilisation. Popular since the late 1800s, their use has considerably reduced in recent years.