Chinese ring

July 14, 2011

The IUCD is the stainless steel 'Chinese ring' widely used in China for the last 20 years. We see quite a lot of these rings in Hong Kong from women who recently arrived from China and wanted to have them removed.

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The IUCD is the stainless steel 'Chinese ring' widely used in China for the last 20 years. We see quite a lot of these rings in Hong Kong from women who recently arrived from China and wanted to have them removed.

The 'original' of this device is the Graefenberg ring, I believe first being used in Graefenberg, Germany in the early 1960s, and was originally made of silver and copper.  The Chinese subsequently produced a stainless-steel version of the device in the 1970s in the city of Shanghai and it was then called the 'Shanghai ring'. It became very popular and was used all over China as the 'main' contraceptive device, being cheap to produce, durable and effective. It was subsequently renamed the 'Chinese ring'. It is about an inch in diameter, very springy and flexible. It does not have a thread attached to it because it was not meant to be removed easily be a lay person or 'ordinary' practisioner. The rationale of course, was from the 'one-child-family' concept.

It can nevertheless be removed without too much hassle using a special hooking device which I have aquired in my office from some medical supplier in the Mainland. The ring is used, which you might be surprised to know, for what is called immediate post-placental insertion (IPPI) which is common in China, referring to the application of the ring immediately (within 10 minutes) of the delivery of the placenta and even during a Caesarean seation.

Quite a few papers have been written on this and it appears the expulsion and infection rates are not that high. I have also attached an updated Chinese ring which has a double helix, I presume to increase the efficacy of the device. I will also send you a picture of 20 other IUCDs in a separate file which you might find useful later on.