Story: Contraception and sterilisation



The use of spermicides on their own peaked during the 1940s. By the late 1940s rubber diaphragms – which were also used with spermicide – were becoming popular. At the time they were known as 'Dutch caps'. Doctors knew little about contraception or how to fit these devices correctly, so in many cases diaphragms did not prevent pregnancy.

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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, (accessed 2 March 2024)

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