Vaginal Speculum (after 1800)
A vaginal speculum is a medical device that allows physicians and health providers to better view a woman’s cervix and vagina during pelvic exams. Most specula are made of metal and plastic, and physicians insert a portion of the speculum into the patient’s vagina to separate the vaginal walls. Physicians have used devices to view inside a woman’s vagina for centuries, but physicians did not begin using what is known as a speculum in the twenty-first century until the 1800s. Prior to the invention of the modern speculum, health specialists struggled to find a way to view the cervix and vaginal walls. Because of that, health specialists could not accurately diagnose medical problems that were occurring in those tissues. Therefore, the speculum has enabled healthcare professionals to provide women with better gynecological diagnoses and care.