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Cervical cap, ‘Improved Gem’ type, 1930-1960

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A woman inserts a cervical cap before sex. It is a barrier contraceptive. The cap sits over the cervix. It acts as a barrier to sperm entering the uterus. Cervical caps come in different sizes and material including rubber, plastic and metal. This cap is known as the ‘Improved Gem’ type. It was patented in 1929. It is made of rubber covered with a sponge to hold spermicidal cream. The cap was supplied by the Mother’s Clinic. This was founded by Dr Marie Stopes (1880-1958) in 1921.

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Glossary: contraception

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

Glossary: cervical cap

A barrier form of contraception. It consists of a thimble-shaped device which fits tightly over the entrance of the cervix. It blocks sperm from entering the uterus and thereby prevents fertilisation. Popular since the mid-1800s, their use has dropped dramatically in recent years.