Cusco Speculum vs Graves speculum: Difference between Cusco speculum and Graves Speculum

The Cusco’s VS Graves Speculum and Womanhood: A feminine review.

The Cuscos speculum or Graves speculum is one instrument which most women in their reproductive years will have to encounter. They have various uses.

They are used during Vaginal examinations, during insertion of IUDs, collection of specimens, view the cervix, used for colposcopy, pap smear etc.. Other uses of Cusco are dilatation and evacuation and dilatation and curettage.

I am going to educate us on the salient differences between the Cusco’s Speculum and the Grave’s Speculum below.


The Cusco’s speculum causes some fear or anxiety when it is about to be used. The Cusco’s speculum has both the reusable and the disposable. The reusable is made of metal, while the disposable is made of plastic. An important feature of Cusco speculum is that it is is self retaining. It frees the doctor’s hands for a procedure making things easy.

The Difference Between Cusco and Graves Speculum
A disposable plastic Cusco speculum
Credit: Wikipedia

On a personal note, I think the metal Cusco is more..”painful” than the plastic.

I recently went for my family planning clinic and the family planning provider had to use the Cusco’s speculum. I was filled with anxiety.

If you use the IUD as a contraception method, the Cusco would most certainly be used on you.


➡️It was named after French surgeon Édouard-Gabriel Cusco (1819–1894).

➡️ It is the most popular gynaecological speculum

➡️It is self retaining. A great advantage that Grave’s speculum do not have. Cusco being self retaining means you do not require the help of an assistant or your second hand to keep the speculum in place.

➡️ Cusco speculum is bivalved (two blades) which opens like a duck’s beak

➡️ Cusco speculum comes in three models: side screw, centre screw, and special narrow virgin size.

➡️Cusco’s speculum is usually 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) long and 22 millimeters (0.87 inches) broad. Smaller and larger sizes are available.

➡️It also acts as the vaginal wall retractor

➡️ Cusco Speculum is preferred for some procedures like cryotherapy since it protects both the anterior and posterior vagina wall.

➡️ Some side effects of using Cusco Speculum is that it can introduce infection, cause vagina tears, trigger anxiety and because of space, it is not ideal for vagina surgeries. It may mask important vaginal lesions during a procedure since in covers almost all vagina walls.

Cusco vs Graves speculum: Difference between Cusco speculum and Graves Speculum
Cusco Speculum (colored) Vs Graves speculum (white)



Graves Vaginal Speculum is a gynecological instrument used for performing pelvic examinations, pap Smears, dilatation and evacuation , dilatation and curettage, and examining the cervix. It is a double blade duckbill speculum inserted with the blades closed. The blades are opened by an external lever and screw.

The Graves Speculum has wider blades than the Cusco Speculum and the practitioner can best determine which type and size speculum is most appropriate for the patient. Graves Speculum have the widest blades of all speculums. Just as Cusco Speculum, Graves Speculum is also self retaining. There is however, no plastic or disposable Graves speculum.

A subtle reminder:

It is a woman’s reproductive right to make an informed decision on the choice of contraception she wishes to use.

Talk to your health care provider to help you make an informed decision on the right contraception suitable for you.

Also, remember to do a PAP smear every 3 years. It is important.

Now, it is safe to say that the Cusco’s
or Graves speculum are an intimate part of the feminine healthcare.

So, what is your Cusco’s or Graves speculum story?

There is another type of speculum used for the the examination of women with vesicovaginal fistula…called the SIM’s speculum.



Dr Udomoh


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