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Vaginal speculum, Paris, France, 1801-1900

A vaginal speculum examines inside the vagina. This helps medical diagnosis. It can also assist treating that area of the body. This brass ‘duck-billed’ example is known as a bi-valve speculum. The blades extend by rotating the ratchet mechanism. The intimate nature of its use caused initial opposition. However, specula had become routine instruments in gynaecological examinations by the end of the 1800s.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: vaginal speculum

Instrument for dilating the vagina, and throwing light within thus facilitating examination or surgical operations

Glossary: gynaecology

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