Story: Contraception and sterilisation

Pessaries

Pessaries

W. J. Rendell's 'Wife's Friend' pessaries (soluble spermicides) date from the 1930s. Walter Rendell was an English chemist who manufactured the first commercial pessaries in 1880 from quinine and cocoa butter. They were used in conjunction with a sea sponge.

Using this item

Family Planning, Dame Margaret Sparrow Collection
Photograph by Rachel Leatham

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How to cite this page:

Jane Tolerton, 'Contraception and sterilisation - Early 20th-century methods', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/26977/pessaries (accessed 29 May 2020)

Story by Jane Tolerton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 7 Dec 2018