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Set of 12 rubber measuring rings, for 'Clinocap' diaphragms, 1934

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A diaphragm is a barrier contraceptive. It sits over the cervix and acts as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. These measuring rings are seen on the left. A physician used them to establish the correct size diaphragm for each woman. They are for use with ‘Clinocap’ diaphragms (A626843), seen on the right. They were made especially for 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.