Contraceptive diaphragm inserter, plastic, made by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation, United States of America, [1985-1995]
The material in this collection comes from a family planning clinic in Melbourne that was founded in 1979 and operated for over twenty years. The clinic offered termination of pregnancy and family planning services at Richmond, an inner suburb of Melbourne. Modelled after the Preterm Foundation clinic in Sydney, it was the first service in Melbourne to provide termination of pregnancy (abortion) under local anaesthetic, making the procedure much less expensive for the patient.
The objects in this collection represent the various services that were provided at the clinic. For example there are several pieces of disposable equipment of the type used in surgical abortion procedures. In addition, many of the items in the collection are birth control devices because the clinic offered counselling and family planning services as well as pregnancy termination. They include a quantity of unused but obsolete Lippes Loop intra-uterine devices (IUDs). This was the type of IUD preferred at the clinic until an improved Gravigard (Copper 7) IUD became available.
There are also examples of a number of types of IUD removed from patients. They include IUD designs that were never used in Australia, but would have been inserted in other countries before the women migrated to Australia.
Pharmaceutical companies often give practical items to doctors to promote their products. Amongst the collection are two models supplied by pharmaceutical companies that would have been kept handy by the doctor so that he could explain to a patient about her reproductive system and how intra-uterine devices worked.
Other items that would have been part of the clinic's equipment include a disposable vaginal speculum.
There is also an example of a 'Gynaeseal' diaphragm tampon. Developed by Dr John Cattanach in Melbourne, Australia, the device was intended to reduce the period of abstinence for couples practising 'natural family planning' by allowing them to have unmessy sexual intercourse during menstruation. However the invention did not have success in the marketplace.
Finally there are items related to the treatment of the symptoms of menopause - an educational audio-tape for women and an information booklet for doctors.
The object is embossed with the name 'Ortho'.
Donated from stock remaining at a family planning clinic in Melbourne after it closed around 2000 because of the retirement of the director.