Mercury douche for urethral therapy, Paris, France, 1840-1895

Made:
1840-1895 in Paris
Cased, mercury douch with fittings for urethral therapy, made by A. Aubry, Paris, French, 1840-1895.
      Cropped view,

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Cased, mercury douch with fittings for urethral therapy, made by A. Aubry, Paris, French, 1840-1895. Cropped view,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group

Cased, mercury douche with fittings for urethral therapy, made by A. Aubry, 5 Boulevard St. Michel, Paris, France, 1840-1895.

This mercury douche was used to treat venereal disease (VD) during the 1800s. VD is now known as STIs (sexually transmitted infections). The douche was made by French instrument maker A. Aubrey. It comes with different-sized attachments used to inject mercury into the penis or vagina. This was called urethral therapy because the medication was inserted through the urethra, the small tube carrying urine from the bladder to the reproductive organs. Mercury was often used to treat syphilis and other venereal diseases. Prolonged exposure to mercury can cause severe damage to the brain and other major organs.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A680862
Materials:
cotton, fittings, steel, mercury reservoir, ivory and tubing, rubber
Measurements:
overall (open): 68 mm x 320 mm x 375 mm,
overall (closed): 74 mm x 320 mm x 200 mm, 1.611 kg
type:
douche
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Aubry, M.E.