Grafenberg intrauterine device (IUD), Europe, 1925-1935

1925-1935 in Europe

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Circular spiral silver Grafenberg ring, c.1930. Full view, selective focus on a white perspex background and
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Circular spiral silver Grafenberg ring, c.1930

German gynaecologist Ernst Grafenberg (1881-1957) devised this intrauterine device (IUD) in the 1920s. The Grafenberg IUD was a popular contraceptive. Early examples were made of silkworm gut and silver wire. An IUD works after conception. It stops a newly fertilised embryo implanting and growing in the lining of the uterus. It was inserted into the uterus by a physician. It could be left in place for several years.

Related people


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
intra-uterine device
Marie Stopes Memorial Foundation

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