Vaginal specula were used by the Romans and
speculum artifacts have been found in
Pompei. A vaginal speculum, developed by J.
Marion Sims, consists of a hollow cylinder with a rounded end that is
divided into two hinged parts, somewhat like the beak
of a duck. The speculum is inserted into the vagina to dilate it for examination
of the vagina and cervix.
A specialized form of vaginal speculum is the weighted speculum, which
consists of a broad half tube which is bent at about a 90 degree angle, with the
channel of the tube on the exterior side of the angle. One end of the tube has a
roughly spherical metal weight surrounding the channel of the speculum. A
weighted speculum is placed in the vagina during vaginal
surgery with the patient in the lithotomy position.
The weight holds the speculum in place and frees the surgeon's
hands for other tasks.
Ebony Speculum and a Japanese Speculum
Speculum and a Disposable Vaginal Speculum
how a vaginal speculum is used and a view of the cervix.