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Carton for ‘Clinocap’ diaphragm, London, England, 1930-1960

A diaphragm is a barrier contraceptive. It sits across the top of the vagina and acts as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. This box once contained a ‘Clinocap’ diaphragm. A Clinocap was made from rubber with a spring in the rim. The diaphragms were made by BCM, supplied by the Mother’s Clinic, and modified by Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958). 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: 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.