If you have a vagina, you know this to be a universal truth: pelvic exams are the absolute worst. Your annual gyno visit is going along swimmingly, and then BAM! Out comes the speculum. Just the sight of that dreaded device is enough to make a woman tense up on the table. The speculum has hardly evolved in over 150 years, but a new redesigned speculum aims to change the way women get their cervices checked.
Ladies, meet Yona. This redesigned speculum was created with both doctors and patients in mind.
For 150 years, neither doctor nor patient have found the speculum to be optimal. Now, it's finally being redesigned https://t.co/vBQHUTYcTk
— WIRED (@WIRED) October 5, 2017
Dr. James Marion Sims designed the first speculum in the 1840s. During development, he conducted experiments using the prototype on slave women, without anesthesia. Suffice to say, patient comfort was not a priority. Astonishingly, the speculum as we know it today is almost identical to that first model. And the device isn’t ideal for doctors or patients, as it turns out.
The current design doesn’t provide optimal visibility for doctors. And it can be incredibly uncomfortable for the patient. Some women even avoid the gynecologist for fear of the pain associated with pelvic exams.
Yona wants to put an end to that. After months and months of research, designers Hailey Stewart and Sahana Kumar (ahem, two women, obviously) have come up with a redesigned speculum that they believe will change the game.
The Yona gives doctors a better field of view, doesn’t force your vagina open as wide, and doesn’t feel like an ice cube. Can we buy our own to take with us to the doc, or…?
Right now, the biggest hurdle the Yona faces is getting doctors on board. Stewart tells Wired, “You could create the most beautiful, most unique, most user-friendly device, but if a doctor doesn’t want to learn how to use it, your patient’s never going to see it.” Doctors, WE NEED THIS. We want this. Please make this happen, on behalf of vaginas everywhere.
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(Image: iStock / didesign021)