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Uterine cannula, United Kingdom, 1851-1900

A uterine cannula is a tube inserted into the uterus to drain off fluid or give medication. This example applied nitric acid during genitor-urinary surgery. Nitric acid was introduced as a sterilising agent in the 1840s. It caused the fallopian tubes to close down. This blocked the passage of eggs into the uterus and prevented fertilisation. This example is made of made of wood and vulcanite. It is thought to be of British origin.

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Glossary: genito-urinary medicine

The branch of medicine dealing with the genital and urinary organs.

Glossary: cannula

A tube for insertion into a duct or cavity in order to drain off fluid or give medication.