When a woman arrives for an appointment with a specialist, a disposable vaginal speculum in UK is commonly used to see what’s going on inside her body. These gadgets can be traced back to ancient Rome. They are made up of two or three “bills” that must be opened inside the body to get the greatest view. Women’s health is in shambles. In many regions, gynecological waiting lists are growing or have reached all-time highs.
Even when a woman sees a specialist, there are horrific stories of what the Council of Europe’s human rights committee calls “gynecological violence.” This includes not only executing diagnostic procedures in the absence of effective pain control but also a lack of compassion for the patient. Such findings are stunning, but probably not surprising given how little some areas of women’s treatment have changed in hundreds of years, as well as the unsavory past they bear.
Table of Contents
Disposable Vaginal Speculum in UK
A Disposable Vaginal Speculum in UK is usually made of metal, which means it stays cold until it is pre-warmed. A group of female designers and engineers is now working on a new design. The Yona has a silicone surface and appears less intimidating. Given that the vaginal speculum has remained unchanged since the nineteenth century, this is a significant advancement in women’s healthcare. Yet, more than the metallic noises and coldness, the speculum’s invasiveness lies at the heart of its very horrible past. Indeed, in 19th-century Britain, when three laws were enacted to combat sexually transmitted diseases (which were deemed to endanger the health of the nation’s army and navy), any woman suspected of being a sex worker might be forced to undergo a speculum examination.
Those inspections were dubbed “forcible rape” by advocate Josephine Butler. Merely a whiff of disease meant that the lady would be detained in a “lock hospital,” a facility that specialized in treating sexually transmitted diseases until the symptoms subsided.
The Myth of Virginity
When virginity was still strongly associated with the concept of a membrane known as the hymen, the Disposable Vaginal Speculum in UK was dreaded because it was considered to break the hymen and therefore end virginity. This would jeopardize a woman’s “purity” and render her marriable. Although these concepts are no longer prevalent in Western countries, expectations about which size of a speculum (yes, they come in different sizes) to use still pertain to sexual behavior.
Those with vaginas are still afraid of breaking the hymen, which prevents them from having vital routine gynecological procedures like the Pap smear, which detects abnormal cells in the cervix. Such concerns are addressed by health guidance websites. Yet, hymens, even when they exist (some women are born with little or no hymenal tissue), vary greatly in their elasticity.
This is a frightening story because the word “frequently” implies that this young woman was examined repeatedly to make the point. Even yet, it was known that the speculum might induce pain by squeezing the vaginal walls (and this is still the case today).
Invasive and agonizing
The prominent theologian St Augustine stated in his work The City of God in the fifth century that purity was about the soul, not the body. Midwives appear to have been utilized back then to check for the presence of the hymen. Augustine made the following observation:
Augustine brings up the hymeneal paradox here: the search for it can be exactly what destroys it. Even historical writers who insisted the hymen were real and proof of virginity, such as Thomas Bartholin and his father Caspar Bartholin, recognized how easily they could be deceived. They admitted in their 1668 treatise Bartholinus Anatomy that a virgin could break it with her fingers or something else, but they also suggested that there were techniques to have vaginal intercourse that would leave it intact.
Women’s bodies have always been much more than their basic morphology. They are used to discussing morals and purity. Even if the hymen is no longer relevant for most women seeing a specialist today, the invasive Disposable Vaginal Speculum in UK with its potential for pain remains as much a hazard to our health as a tool for diagnosing our sickness.