Speculum, vaginal, Sims, double duck-bill, metal, nickel plated, by Maw of London, late 19th century
American surgeon James Marion Sims (1813-33) devised this type of double duck-bill vaginal specula. Vaginal specula help diagnose and treat vaginal and uterine disorders. Sims designed the duck-bill shaped instrument for fistula repair operations. A fistula is a hole that forms between the vaginal wall and the bladder. It was often caused by traumatic childbirth. It could result in urinary incontinence if untreated. The speculum was made by London instrument maker S. Maw, Son and Thompson. Problems with vaginal specula include pain felt by the patient and how much light the physician has to perform an examination. The highly polished surface of the valves reflected some light. Specula examinations caused controversy in the 1800s over male doctors performing such an intimate examination on women.
- Clinical Diagnosis
- Object Number:
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- medical instrument
- Loan, Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.