Pessary, stem, Duffin, boxwood and ivory, c.1890
A prolapsed uterus is where the uterus has shifted down from its usual position in the abdominal cavity. The Duffin stem pessary supported a prolapsed uterus. The boxwood stem with cup was inserted in the vagina. The lower part of the pessary was held in place with a material strap outside the vagina.
This type of pessary was developed in 1831. Its inventor, a Mr Duffin, designed it so the stem length could be adjusted as the condition improved. The pessary also incorporates a rotating joint to follow the natural movement of the body. Vaginal pessaries became widespread in the 1800s. Many designs are still used.
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