(Guided tours must be booked in advance on +43 699 178 178 06)
The €4 ticket (for all guests under 22 years of age) shows a frog.
In the 1940s and ’50s, male frogs were used as reliable pregnancy tests: as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, her urine contains the pregnancy hormone. To determine its presence, both biochemical test strips, the most common method at present, and observation of the physiological reaction of animals have been employed. In the latter, a few drops of urine were injected under the frog’s skin. The animal producing sperm a few hours later provided proof of pregnancy. This test is extremely reliable and was used frequently until the 1960s, when it was replaced by modern methods.
Guided tours for visitors under 22 years of age cost €5 per person or €75 for groups of fewer than 15 persons. One escort is permitted free of charge.
The €8 ticket (for visitors over 22 years of age) shows an advert for the elastic Diva condom.
“My legally protected condom when drawn out.” The characteristics ‘extreme elasticity’ and ‘legal protection’ were intended to reflect the condom’s effectiveness. In the past, condoms were so unreliable that two had to be worn at the same time.
Guided tours for visitors over 22 years of age cost €12 per person or €75 for groups of fewer than seven. A fish’s swim bladder is shown on this ticket.
Swim bladders, which are thin walled and pleasantly soft, were once used as condoms, and large sturgeons were in high demand for this purpose. A rubber ring was attached to keep them from slipping off. However, they were delicate, unreliable and also extremely expensive.
Admission costs €6 for Vienna Card holders.
The ticket shows a bottle containing a soap solution seized by police while they were searching a house. Before abortions performed by a doctor were legalised (1975), illegal abortionists employed soapsuds. When in the form of strong lye, soap burns human tissue.
Museum of Contraception and Abortion, Mariahilfer Gürtel 37, 1150 Wien. www.muvs.org