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Publication numberUS2355628 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1944
Filing dateJan 18, 1941
Priority dateJan 18, 1941
Publication numberUS 2355628 A, US 2355628A, US-A-2355628, US2355628 A, US2355628A
InventorsCalhoun Vernon
Original AssigneeCalhoun Vernon
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Catamenial device and method of making same
US 2355628 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug.15, 1944. v. CALHOUN 2,355,628

CATA E IA I Filed Jan. 18, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet l NNNNNN OR VERNON CALHOUN 1944- v. CALHOUN 2,355,628

CAIAMENIAL DEVICES AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME Filed Jan. 18, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 47 35 F l 1 4 5: la

INVENTOR 3 may.

ATTORNEY VERNON CALHOUN enema Aug. 15, 1944 UNITED STATES PATENT" OFFICE,

Vernon Calhoun, Chicago, Ill. Application January 18, 1941, Serial No. 375,069 E 2'! Claims. (01. 128-285) The invention relates to a catamenial device of the type of such devices by means of which an intravaginal tampon is located in the vaginal canal, and the present disclosure constitutes a development, and a continuation in part, of the invention disclosed in my copending application Serial 1%-360391, flied October 12, 1940, entitled Catamenial devices." The invention also relates to a method of making the plugs which form the tampons herein featured.

In the copending application there were disclosed two forms of an ejector type of applicator, each including an outer carrier tube for locating a plug of compressed cotton high up .in the vaginal "canal and two forms of plungers for ejecting the plug from its associated carrier tube.

Intravaginal tamponapplicators which employ ejector elements have certain inherent objections in use, for instance, they usually require the use of two hands to manipulate them, one to hold the carrier tube in its located position, and the other to operate its ejecting plunger and unless care is exercised in gently advancing the plunger in the act of ejecting the tampon from its carrier tube, the action is very apt to be too rough or too quick with resulting pain or shock to the user; the withdrawal cord sometimes becomes entangled with and thus interferes with the actuation of the plunger; the combined length of the ejector applicator and plug make up a package too long to ilt in a small purse or other receptaole; and not infrequently the long loose plunger becomes damaged and even lost before the device is needed for use.

Further, the necessity of providing two sepaup such forms of applirate members to make cators and the necessityior fitting the members one in theother to form the commercial package, of course, adds materially to the manufacturing cost of such devices over what would be the expense of an applicator comprising only a single tube.

The primary object of this invention, as was the primaryobjectof the invention featured in the above identified application, is to provide an improved form of intravaginal catamenial device of an applicator type construction, easy and thus economical'to. make and which will avoid the above outlined oblec tionable features.

Another seriously important object of the invention is to provide a form of tampon and means for inserting the same in place which are simplifled and can thus be manufactured at less cost than the known forms of such the market.

Broadly, thepresentinvention features a device of the class described formed solely of two separate parts, a single tubular member constituting a an applicator designed to form a combinedplug or tampon carrier and pusher. for advancing the tampon into position high in the vaginal canal as before, and a self-acting form of tampon organized so that the, tampon will be held in place largely by muscle action and the carrier withdrawn easily from the tampon and canal and to obtain this action without any necessity of utilizso tampon held in place by the which will be of simple ing a plunger to eject the tampon from the carrier. The invention therefore features the omission of the plunger from the usual form of applicator and thus the avoidance of the objectionable features associated with applicators of the usual ejector types.

Diilferently expressed, the invention contemplates a form of tampon of highly compressed absorbent material, such ascotton, which can be safely and easily advanced into position by its applicator, somewhat following known practices in this respect, but distinguishing from such practices in that the tampon is not positively ejected from the applicator. On the contrary, in using the device herein featured the applicator is simply withdrawn from the self-locating action of the walls of the vaginal canal.

Intravaginal tampons of the type now on the market are simply plugs of absorbent material, usually compressed "cotton of cylindrical form and which when wetted' expand into a slightly larger cylinder in the expectation that they will expand sufllciently to close the vaginal canal.

Anatomical limitations restrict the dimensions of such tampons, especially where merchandising the market, necessitating additional length dimension to the tampon in order to provide for the optimum maximum mass of absorbing material. However, the necessity of locating the tampon in the somewhat limited length of canal back of the contractor muscles and in advance of and preferably spaced from the uterus imposes devices now on usual containing envelope;

As these known forms of small diametered cylinders expand when .wetted, the increase in the direction of diametrical dimension is not extensive and except where the vaginal wall is firm andv of good tone, as in a young woman, the

tampon does not effectively seal the canal and showing the tampon in its operative position, swollen in use and with the applicator leakage often results. The ideal tampon must function effectively to meet these conditions and such practical conditions are further complicated in the effort to provide for standardization in a few sizes and by the fact that the vaginal canal varies in size in all dimensions, in shape especially when collapsed, and in muscular tone, in

and with the expansible material so massed and apportioned to its different parts so that in expanding the head will dilate and hermetically seal the less sensitive upper portion of the canal, leaving the more sensitive lower or outer portion of the canal least effected, if at all, by the relatively small diametered remaining body portion of the tampon.

Broadly, this aspect of the invention is attained by forming the plug initially with a body portion of cylindricalform andby massing a large proportion of. the requisite mass of cotton or other absorbent material into a head of bulbous, or rose-bud like form, designed in action to progressively andgently dilate the vaginal orifice and its associated contractor muscles and dimensioned to momentarily reach a maximum dilation permitting the passing of the enlarged head and a subsequent releasing of the distended muscles on to the smaller cylindrical part before any feeling of discomfort occurs. The invention also features a simplified, easily practiced and economic method for forming the plugs herein described.

Various other objects and advantages of the invention will be in part obvious from an inspection of the accompanying drawings and in part will be more fully set forth in the following particular description of one form of device embodying the invention, and the invention also consistsin certain new and novel features of construction and combination .of parts hereinafter set forth and claimed.

In the drawings: i

Fig. 1 isa view largely in axial cross section of a preferred embodiment of theinvention in its completed marketable form but without its Figs. 2 and 3 are end elevational views respectively of the left and right end of. the device shown in Fig. 1;

- Figs. 4 and 5 are both vertical'medial sectional views through the vaginal tract, with Fig. 4 showing the applicator of Fig. 1 in position in the vaginal canal, with the'plug partly entirely removed;

Fig. '6 is an end view of the heador advance end of the tampon as seen from the lane 8-6 of Fig. 4 looking in the direction indicated by the arrows, showing the end of the wet plug slightly enlarged from the end when dry as shown in Fig. 2; and

Figs. 7 to 9 inclusive are views of the flat blanks of absorbent material before they are compressed into the form shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 6;

Fig. 7 showing in plan two blanks of one form, with one of the blanks broken away to show internal construction and showing transverse stitching;

Fig. 8 showing an end view of one of the blanks Fig. 9 showing in plan two blanks of another form and showing longitudinal stitching; and

Fig. 10 is a perspective view of one of the blanks of Fig. 7 slightly twisted about its longitudinal axis and before it is compressed along said axis to form the plug illustrated in Figs. 1, 2, 4 and 6.

In the drawings, and referring first to Fig. 1, there is disclosed a plug, tampon, pad or internal napkin somewhat resembling the plug disclosed in the above identified copending application, and likewise comprising initially an elongated strip of absorbent cotton or similar absorbent material compressed under relatively high pressure to form a core or plug 21 of sufficient compactness to retain its shape until moistened and adapted when in operativeposition clear of the applicator, as shown in Fig. 5, to form an elongated, somewhat frusto-conical form of tam- P n 28.

The plug formed as hereinafter described is placed loosely in one end of a single tubular form of applicator 2| having its bore 23 wide open at one end to form a. plug containing portion 24. The tube 2! is prepared from a strip of paper spirally wrapped to form a paper cylinder similar to the manner of forming pasteboard mailing 5' tubes. The tube 2| has suflicient rigidity to maintain its initial form and has sufficient flexibility to permit a slight bending thereof both longitudinally and transversely as more particularly described in the copending application.

As initially formed, the tube 2| has the dition relative to the stem 40 about the point 42 at the juncture between the enlarged and reduced ends of the applicator and in this way the axes of the portion 24 and stem 40 are free to assume at least a small angle with each other when in place as shown in Fig. 4. Thus the advance portion 24 of'the applicator may assume a position at an angle to the remaining portion 40 and also both the advance portion carrying the plug as well as so much of the stem as is actually. .in the canal, may each assumesuch curved or bent portion as may be imposed thereon by the configuration of the particular canal in which the ,75 applicator is operating. However, it is the intent asaacss of this design to give some rigidity to the stem 40 and its shouldered end ll so that the portionvof the applicator in rear of the plug can function as a more or less still pusher rod to bear on the plug in the act of locating it in place and therefore less dependency is placed upon the capacity of the stem to bend along its own length and the necessary bending feature is preferably localized in the larger and more flexible end portion 24 and in the ability of this portion to articulate into position about the center 42. 1

Particular care should be exercised in forming the internal shoulder 4| to insure a long, conical contour to the external shoulder 43 so that as' the applicator is being withdrawn as shown in Fig. 4, the shoulder 43 will form a low angled wedge so as to gently press open the canal walls, distend the contractor muscles and slip outwithout catching in the folds or sulci of the walls.

One commercially perfected form of the plug wide portion 24 of tion 3| loosely inserted in the i the applicator tube Itand features an enlarged.

seated plug to bring this 21 is fabricated from long, flat, somewhat rectangular blanks H as shown in Figs. 7, and 8.

This blank is composed of two or more supe posed layers of long, thin cards or strips of cotton 45 between two of which is laid a layer of diamond mesh gauze 46. The blanks 44 are fed sidewise in spaced apart relation through a jump-stitch sewing'machine to pass a line. of stitching 41 transversely across the blanks adjacent one end to secure the cotton and gauze layers together.

The portion of the sewing thread between succeeding blanks when out adjacent one of the blanks as at the point 48 leaves the balance as a tvfiithldrawal string 35 attached to each separate It is also suggested thatthe blanks may be formed simply of layers of cotton without the gauze insert. i

In the form of the plug blank shown in Fig. 9 the blanks 49 are to be regarded simply as long, flat layers of cotton and are fed endwise in spaced apart relation through a jump-stitch sewing machine to pass two or three stitches confined at points so and 5| adjacent opposite short ends of the blank, leaving the connecting length of thread their inner ends open to the recess 33, exposed hard bulbous head 32. The cylindrical body portion is of less diameter than the internal diameter of the. portion 24 so as to provide a material degree of clearance 33 therebetween. The rear end of the cylindrical portion is beveled or rounded as shown at 5| to provide an extensive area 01' engagement with the annular pressure seat ll. The head 32 is integral with the body portion 3| and is'connected thereto by a neck 55 formed by an annular groove 55 located between the body portion and head and related to the length of the roove in the transverse plane containing the advance edge 51 of the applicator. This has the effect of locating the rear side of the head slightly in advance of the edge 51 when the head is dry. The head forms a shield for the advancing edge 51 as the device is intruded into the vaginal canal and protects the vaginal wall from being scraped by the pasteboard tube edge. I

As featured in application Serial No. 360,991, the advanbe end of the plug 211s provided with a small cylindrical pin-like recess 33 open at its forward end and extending inwardly axially of the plug through the head 32 and into the cylindrical portion 3| for a short distance. The advance end of the head is also provided with four radially-extending cuts, kerfs or grooves 34 having at the outer surface 35 of the head and terminating almost at and slightly rearward .of the outer 52 loose therebetween to permit the subsequent longitudinal compression and suggested form of twist of the blank in forming the finished plug. The length of thread between the blanks when severed as at point 52 leaves av withdrawal member 36 for each blank of this form of plug.

The plug 21 may be formed from the blanks of either the Figs. 1-8 or Fig. 9 disclosures by feeding the same into a suitable die press capable of thread-like helix which, of course, becomes flatter than isshown in Fig. 10 when the blank is compressed into the Fig. 1 form. As the plug 21 becomes wetted, it will tend to restore itself to its initial form and Fig. 10 can be regarded as the form which the plug tends to assume, but, of course. never does completely assume, as it becomes saturated when in use in the vaginal'canal and because its expansion contour is somewhat restricted by the shape and walls as shown at 28 in Fig. 5.

Referring to the completed plug 21 as shown in Fig. 1, it comprises a long cylindrical body porposition of the vaginal perimeter of the head 32.

In this case, it is suggested that the advance surface 35 of the head be also provided with a shallow circular groove 59 which intersects the radial grooves or kerfs 34 and forms an interconnected arrangement of grooves as It is a feature of this disclosure to mass as much of the absorbent material as possible into the head 32 so that when compressedunder the maximum practical pressures available in the die presses used for this purpose, the head will have the maximum amount of cotton available for expansion that can be compressed into that size of head which will have no greater maximum diameter than .can be easily inserted past the contractor muscles. In its final form, the head will have a greater density of material and will thus be relatively harder than the small cylindrical body portion which contains a relatively less amount of compressed cotton. In this way there is formed a plug of unequal density which by expansion tends to distribute the greater portion of the cotton in the upper portion of the vaginal tract nearer the cervix to form plugs of uniform density.

In'operation, the large end of. the applicator with its plug in position as shown in Fig. l is inserted into the vaginal canal a, the rounded advance end of the plug assisting in momentarily distending the contractor muscles at the vaginal orifice b. The hard outer face 35 of the head 3! acts a a progressively acting blunt headed dilator expanding the orifice and itsvcontrolling muscles and as soon as the head is passed the muscles tend to contract back of the head on to the tube portion 2|, with the result that this portion tends to assume the elliptical or other cross sectional form imposed reon by the contractor muscles. The clos ng the smaller diametered portion 24 has the efiect of releasing the maximumly imposed tension on a'better seal than the contractor muscles and thiain turn, permits shown in Fig. 2.

of the mucles on of an easysliding advance of the portion 24 further up the canal. As the tube portion 24 is thus further advanced beyond the contractor muscles and passes into the less sensitive upper portion at of the canal, the smaller diametered stem 40 comes within the region of the contractor muscles and at this time the muscles are permitted a further closing and are substantially released from any outward distension and are thus more at rest. A v

As the applicator is advanced, the head 32 meets the lower wall of the upturned canal 0 beyond the contractor muscles; the canal walls react thereon and tend to bendthe tube portion 24 more or less out of its original straight cylindrical form into the longitudinally slightly bent or curved form shown in Fig. 4. As the portion 24 in its inward advance reaches the usual bend in the canal at about the position shown in Fig. 4,

the whole portion 24 will tend to angle about the part 42 and thus assume an angle to the length of the advancing stem 40 which by this time is located in the outer, muscular part of the canal. The head 32 is capable of at least a limited degree of canting by virtue of the neck forming groove 56 and it is thus possible for the head to adjust itself to the changes in its direction of advance through the canal.

During this advance, manual pressure longitudinally on the projecting end of the more or less rigid stem 40 is acting through the seat 4| and thus on to the seated cotton plug and little, if any, pressure is transmitted through the relatively frail, or better, less rigid carryin P rtion 24. The applicator is advanced until the plug has reached the upper portion d of the canal and which will be indicated by the rapidly increasin resistance to further advance as the head approaches the cervix e.

As the head advances, it soon meetsmoisture in sufficient, amount, sometimes just within the orifice b, to wet the head of highly compressed cotton and the head end of the plug promptly begins to expand. The kerfs, passageways and recesses in the advance end ofthe head act to distribute the menstrual flow quickly to all parts of the head and this head opens up and spreads outwardly well beyond the outlines of the adjacent end of the applicator. In this action, the groove 56 starts partially to disappear as do the kerfs 34 and groove 59. By the time the plug reaches its proper position in the canal, the head will have swelled considerably, expanding with an outward curl like an opening roseand tending somewhat to assume a mushroom form with some incidental swelling of the part of the body portion still within the applicator. During the more or less dry to the advance of the forward end of the plug.

The air pressure so created in the region in advance of the head 32 leaks past the head by reason of the fact. that the pressure acts on the relatively weal: canal walls at the inner end of the canal to distend them slightly away from the cutting longitudinally almost entirely across. the head assist in transferring the air pressure past the head 32 and into the clearance 38. As is usually the case, the head even when expanded seldom fits snugly on the edge 51. The relatively softer rear end of the tampon will cause it to conform more .or less to the form or the advancing seat 4| and thus will insure a more or less tight' air seal at this point so that the air in the clearance I8 is under some pressure. Any pressure in the clearance acts to distend the tampon carrying portion 24 radially outward. Of course, air

confined in the tube 24 even when not under super-atmospheric pressureacts to transmit and to diifuse throughout the portion 24 any distortion strains which may be imposed at any local point thereon by contact with any portion 'of the canal walls.

At the same time, that is, during the insertion of the device, there is usually some wetting and thus some softening of the advance end of the cardboard tube 24 adjacent the edge 51 by residual moisture absorbed from the vaginal walls. The air pressure within the clearance 38 acts in three ways: First, it tends to open up the softened end at 51 moving this end away from the expanding head 32 and thus avoiding any tendency to binding action between the plug head and the applicator. Second, in its reactory pressure action against the seat 4|, it tends to cushion the manual advance of the applicator as a whole and the feeling of an increase in pressure resistance with resulting discomfort to the user is one indication that she has advanced the tampon far enough. Third, this trapped air pressure in its outwardly directed action on the seat 4i tends to assist the manual withdrawal of the applicator and also assists in avoiding any fireezing or wedging of the tampon 0n the seat As the head 32 swells in all directions, it will tend to move its rear face towards the advance end 51 of the applicator until contact is made. At this time, it is seen that while most of the pressure on the stem 4| is acting on the rear end 54' of the plug. still some pressure is undoubtedly also being passed along the portion 24 to act directly on the expanding head. The resulting petal-like formation tends to force the resulting segments 39 into the folds or sulci i in the vaginal walls thus tending"to lock the tampon in place against accidental withdrawal Y withdrawal element 36 hanging loose. To eflect head. Incidentally, the presence 0! the kerfs I4 this withdrawal movement of the paper-like applicator, the stem 4| is gently pulled downwardly and forwardly as indicated by the arrow in Fig. 4. During this movement, the wedging shoulder 43 gently presses on and opens the contractor muscles for the instant of time necessary to permit the withdrawal after which they are free to close the canal back into its normal position with the canal more or less closed as indicated in Fig. 5.

By the time the applicator is being removed, the menstrual discharge will have begun to seep through the entire mass of the-tampon 28 causing it to swell in both a longitudinal direction and transversely radially of its axis, and in this way to distend the vaginal walls which engage it,

tures that as the tampon absorbs the menstrual flow it elongates in both axial directions from the Fig. 4 position but not at the same rate. Measured from a relatively fixed point in the midlength of the cylindrical body portion 3| when in the Fig. 4 position, the rear solid end moves rearwardly, that is, towards the sphincter muscles, only a relatively short distance, but the headed end moves a relatively greater distance forwardly, that is, towards the cervix e. In actual practice, this has the effect of moving the advance end of the expanded tampon into the less resistant inner part of the canal and often into position even closer to the uterus than is shown in Fig. 5. Thus despite the large amount of cotton contained in these plugs, the greater portion of the cotton when in operative position is located "high in the canal, but in such position as to leave the cavity at g free to receive the flow from the orifice ,f. The restraining of the rear end of the tampon from backing rearwardly into the vaginal orifice has the advantage of avoiding the feeling of discomfort which otherwise the user would experience.

Incidental to the radially expanding action, another movement takes place due to the initial partial twist imposed on the blank as shown in Fig. 10. The compressed plug slightly unwinds about its longitudinal axis in a tendency to restore itself to its initial flat form when wetted. This has the effect of causing the helix forming edges 54 to exert outward pressure along a spiral line as the surface of the plug distends and in distendingto curl into the folds of the canal wall with a screw-like action and this tends further to insure a snug, hermetically sealed fit between the tampon and the canal walls to seal the canal from any leakage past the tampon. It has been found in practice that when the soiled tampon is removed there is present a pronounced, ragged line of discoloration following the spiral formed by the edging 54 of the twisted cotton blank. In other words, a more or less completely saturated tampon shows graduations in color being more intensely red at the inner enlarged end, fading out to the white of the cotton at the outer smaller end, and disclosing, particularly along the initial cylindrical rear end or body portion 3|, a more or less definite red spiral contrasting with the adjacent portions of the tampon. The spiral showing itself is of deepest red at the head end and disappears towards the smaller end. This spiral line of discoloration also shows clearly in the X-ray photographs taken of the tampon when in position in the vaginal canal. It is inferred from these showings that the exposed edging provides an easy entrance for the menstrual flow into the compact body of cotton forming the tampon and thus provides a long, spiral form of ingress open at its inner end to the quick absorbing head 32 and acting to direct the fluid contents therefrom along a path shown as a spiral in Figs. 4 and 5, extending away from the head and from which path the fluids can pass laterally thereof into the body of the tampon. The exposed edging seems to form a multitude of minute openings into the interior of the tampon and thus provides a relatively open path for the fluids supplementing along the length of the tampon the absorption surfaces provided by the kerfed head.

When saturated, the soiled tampon is removed simply by pulling gently on the cord 36. As this withdrawal is with the smaller end of the resulting frusto-conical tampon 28 in advance, the

tampon will act as a low angled conical wedge to gently press open the contractor muscles thus permitting an easy withdrawal of the used tampon. During this withdrawal action, the walls of the canal in their closing action on the now soft, saturated, or partly saturated tampon and the lengthwise pull on the withdrawal member 36 tends to elongate the low-angled conical tampon from the size shown in Fig. 5, thus reducing its maximum expanded diameter to an extent to permit it being passed the muscles at the vaginal orifice without discomfort despite the large amount of cotton used. The sewing of the withdrawal member through the layers forming the tampon as shown by the stitching in Figs. 7-10 has the effect of holding together the small advanced end of the tampon and in its resistance to fraying the tampon is completely withdrawn as a unit without causing any loose, stringy or dripping parts.

I claim:

1. A catamenial device composed solely of two readily separable parts, one part comprising a slightly flexible tube of paper-like, soluble material forming a manually manipulated applicator and the other part comprising a plug of compressed absorbent material, said plug adapted when inserted by the applicator into the vaginal canal acting to form an intravaginal tampon, said plug including a substantially cylindrical body portion fitting loosely in an advance end of the applicator whereby the plug as a whole is free to assume a position with its axis at an angle to the axis of the advance end of the applicator, the advance end 01' said plug forming an enlarged expansible head located exteriorly of said advance tube end having a limited degree of universal articulation relative to the body portion and adapted to be engaged by'the walls of the vaginal canal as they close in on the applicator after being distended by the advancing head, whereby the walls act to hold the head andthen the tampon in position while the applicator is being withdrawn, and said plug including a flexible withdrawal member extending freely from the cylindrical body portion out through the other end of the tubular applicator and acting to hold together the material forming the advancing en of the withdrawing tampon.

2. A catamenial device comprising a plug of compressed absorbent material having a body portion provided'at one end with an enlarged head forming an annular shoulder with the body portion and an applicator having means for receiving thebody portion, said applicator provided with a seating shoulder adapted to bear on the rear end of the plug and having its advance end initially located slightly in rear of said annular shoulder when the plug is seated on said seating shoulder and said plug adapted when the head is wetted to hear at least lightly on the annular shoulder and thus act to push the plug into place by the application ofpressure at two places along its length, said head expandible when wetted and adapted when wetted to be engaged by the walls of the vaginal canal and held thereby in place while permitting the applicater to be withdrawn leaving the plug in place to function as an intravaginal tampon, said seating shoulder forming an opening centered therein, and disposed so that when the plug has any portion of the outer perimeter of its rear end seated on said shoulder the central portion of said plug end is exposed to the external atmosphere through said opening, thereby reducing the area of engagement between the seatin shoulder and the plug and thus tending to defeat possibility of the plug sticking to said seating shoulder as the/applicator is withdrawn.

3. A catamenial device composed solely of two readily. separable parts, one part comprising a one-piece tube of uniform cross sectional area of material throughout its length having .one end portion enlarged toform a slightly flexible holder and the other end portion of less external diameter and forming a relatively rigid pusher rod, said end portions forming therebetween bothan internal shoulder, and an external shoulder and the other part comprising a plug of absorbent material loosely fitted in said flexible holder and its rear end adapted to be engaged by the internal shoulder as the plug is advanced by the pusher rod high into the vaginal canal, a withdrawal member having one end secured to the rear end of the plug, passing through the hereof the pusher rod and constituting a draft means accessible at the outer end of the pusher rod for temporarily holding the plug seated in the holder as the plug is being worked into its operative position in the vaginal canal and said external shoulder forming a frusto-conically shaped dilator to distend the vaginal walls and thus assist in withdrawing the holder from the canal and said tube while being so withdrawn acting to lay the withdrawal member extended substantially straight in the outer portion of the canal while permitting said member to take any undulatory direction imposed thereon by the canal in closing on itself after the tube has been withdrawn.

4. An applicator for a vaginal tampon comprising a tube of paper-like material, one end of said tube providing a tampon carrying portion of cylindrical form, smooth on both its inner and outer surfaces, and the other end being crimped to form a relatively rigid pusher rod of less cross section than the cylindrical end, said ends forming therebetween both external and internal annular shoulders and said ends having a limited degree of relative articulation about a point adjacent said shoulders and said internal shoulder exposed to the bore of the crimped end in all relatively articulated positions of the opposite ends of the tube thereby to receive in said bore any menstrual discharge or other fluids on the vaginal canal walls which may be received by the tampon carrying portion of the applicator in advance of said internal shoulder.

5..A catamenial device comprising solely two separate elements, a tubular applicator of paperlike material and a tampon forming plug of absorbent material, with one end of the plug intruded loosely into. one end of the applicator and thus initially providing a clearance between the plug and the wall of the applicator encircling the same to permit a freedom of bodily canting movement of the plug to adjust itself in the end of the, applicator and to swing into different positions with its axis at angles to the general length direction of the applicator, and the wall of said tubular applicator crimped at one point therein to form an annular internal plug seat spaced from opposite ends and adapted to bear endwise on the plug to push it into the vaginal canal when in either an axially aligned or in any relatively angled position of the plug and the end portion of the applicator in which it is intruded, said plug provided with a withdrawal element extending from the portion of the plug which is within the axially projected outline of the opening centered in the annular shoulder and which element extends freely through the opening in the shoulder and therefrom out through the other end of the applicator.

6. A self-sustaining elongated tampon for use as an internal catamenial device comprising a plug of absorbent materialinitially compressed both longitudinally and transversely to a permanent and approximately cylindrical form, the inner end of the tampon fashioned to lie adjacent the cervix and having a density greater than the density at the other or outer end and said tampon operating as the tampon absorbs the menstrual flow to expand and elongate from its initial form, the inner end of greater density expanding more extensively than does the outer end of lesser density thereby causing the end of the tampon nearest the cervix to distend the sulci at the inner portion of the canal more extensively than the tampon expands the portion of the canal nearer the vaginal orifice. I

7. An intravaginal tampon comprising a body portion of substantially cylindrical form and an enlarged head at one end of the cylindrical body portion, said head beingvof bulbous form and having a maximum diameter greater than the diameter of the body portion, said tampon being formed of absorbent material compressed in both axial and radial directions, the material in said head being compressed to a greater density than the material in said body portion whereby when wetted the tampon tends to expand into a mushroom shape, and said head end of the tam- ,pon provided with a recess extending axially through the head and projecting into the body portion thereby tending to conduct part of the menstrual discharge past the head and into the interior of the body portion of the tampon while exposing the end of the head outlining said recess to receive other portions of the flow.

8. An intravaginal tampon comprising a body portion of substantially cylindrical form and an enlarged head at one end of the cylindrical body portion, said head beingof bulbous form and having a maximum diameter greater than the diameter of the body portion, said tampon being formed of absorbent material compressed in both axial and radial directions, the material in said head being compressed to a greater density than the material in said body portion whereby when wetted the tampon tends to expand into a mushroom shape. e

9. ,A catamenial device fashionedto fit high in the human vaginal canal spaced from the sphincter muscles and comprising a plug composed entirely of absorbent material capable of maintaining its form until wetted and includin a cylindrical body portion of relatively cylindrical form fashioned to fit in the vaginal canal between the contractcr muscles and the uterus and spacedfrom both and having at the end thereof adjacent the uterus an enlarged bulbous head of greater maximum cross sectional area,

said head having a density greater than that of tion of its length and having sufllcient flexibility to fit in the curved portion of the vaginal canal between the uterus and the contractor muscles at the vaginal orifice and spaced from both, said tampon having at the end thereof adjacent the uterus an enlarged bulbous head, and having a neck of reduced cross sectional area of material integrally and axially connecting the head to the body portion, said head having its cross section of maximum area initially circular in form and with a diameter greater than any diameter of the body portion and said cross sectional area of the head progressively decreasing from said maximum area towards opposite ends of its axis.

11. An intravaginal tampon comprising a plug of compressed cotton capable of maintaining its compressed configuration until wetted, said tampon comprising initially a long flat strip of cotton, twisted about its longitudinal axis and compressed axially, said plug having a length materially less than the length of said strip, the outer long edges of said strip forming a cylindrical, screw-thread-like helix providing a curved line along the length of the tampon having a greater degree of permeability than the balance of the tampon, said tampon in its tendency to recover its initial fiat shape when wetted by the menstrual flow causing said edges to unwind and in the act of unwinding tend to exert outward pressure along a spiral line as the surface of the plug distends to curl into the sulci of the vaginal canal walls.

12. An intravaginal tampon comprising initially a plurality of superposed layers of absorbent material, a thread forming a few stitches through the tampon adjacent opposite ends to secure the layers together, with the length of thread therebetween loose and said thread in the portion thereof extending beyond the tampon forming a withdrawal member said tampon except for said few stitches having the entire area of said layers otherwise unstitched and thus free from restraint to being compressed, and said tampon being twisted slightly about a longitudinal axis, highly compressed and tending solely by virtue of being so compressed to maintain its shape until wetted and said tampon in the length thereof between said stitches being free to change from its compressed form when wetted without restraint from any stitching.

13. A catamenial device comprising a tubular applicator open at opposite ends and provided therein with a constriction forming a plug seat and a plug formed solely of compressed absorbent material and adapted when in operative position in the vaginal canal to form an intravaginal tampon, said plug having one end intruded loosely into an end of the applicator and adapted to be engaged by said seat as the applicator advances the plug into position, said plug having its other end projecting for a material distance beyond the applicator to form a head of the compressed material exposed beyond the applicator, said head initially providing a hard rounded form of dilator for the vaginal canal with its advanced end substantially semi-spherical and said dilating head when wetted by the menstrual flow having capacity to swell more quickly than the balance of the plug and with the material thereof present in such mass so that in swelling it will distend the portion of the canal in which it is contained and so expand into a locking engagement with the walls of the vaginal canal and thus permit the applicator to be freely withdrawn from the plug so retained in the canal and said applicator acting before it is withdrawn to shield the intruded end of the plug from being moistened by the vaginal fluids and thus tend to delay the swellin f the balance of the plug un-,

til the applicator is withdrawn.

14. An elongated intravaginal tampon formed primarily of absorbent material having its inner end of larger cross sectional area than the outer end and compressed to an extent to maintain its form until wetted, said inner end initially forming a blunt, hard, round headed dilator for gently opening the vaginal canal as the tampon is inserted in place, and said inner end including means responsive to the absorption of the menstrual flow into the same to cause said round headed end to open and in opening to spread outwardly beyond its initial outline and into a substantial mushroom form for dilating the walls of the canal against the muscular resistance imposed thereby and for causing the mushroom so formed to engage in the sulciof the canal walls while being so distended by the opening head.

15. An intravaginal tampon formed primarily of an initially flat, rectangular layer of cotton having such form as would be produced by curling the layer about its longitudinal axis and then compressing the same in directions both axial and radial to form a tampon comprising a cylindrical body portion with an enlarged head integral therewith at one end and said tampon having a permanent shape until wetted, and said tampon when wetted expanding bothaxially and radially against the muscular resistance of the human vaginal walls and also exhibiting a tendency to uncurl and, in uncurling, acting in effeet to lock the exposed absorbent surface of the cotton tampon into engagement with the wall of the vagina with incidental displacement of the wall to fit about the distended tampon.

16. .An intravaginal tampon of compressed absorbent material having a substantially cylindrical body portion and an enlarged head formed integral with the body portion at one end thereof, the material forming said enlarged head being more highly compressed than the material forming the body portion.

17. A catamenial device comprising an applicator including a cylindrical holder providing a bore, the outlining wall of which is semi-flexible and liable to become soft when wetted by the menstrual excretions, said holder provided with an annular stop seat at the inner end of its bore, a selfesustaining plug of compressed absorbent material having at one end a body portion of substantially cylindrical form loosely intruded into the bore of the holder and adapted to be engaged by said seat in the act of introducing the plug into the vaginal canal, said plug having an enlarged head at its other end projecting beyond the adjacent end of the holder, said cylindrical end of the plug having a cross section materially less than the cross section of the bore of the holder in which it is contained to provide a clearance of material extent closed at its outer end by the engagement of the plug on said stop seat, said clearance being leakingly exposed at its forward end around the head to the portion of the canal in advance of the head during the time the plug is being advanced by the applicator along the vaginal canal whereby as the device is advanced along the vaginal canal the plug tends to create pressure in the upper portion of the canal and this pressure accumulating in the semiflexible holder tends to defeat collapsing of the holder on to the plug.

18. An applicator for introducing a catamenial tampon high into the vaginal canal, comprising a single, one-piece tubular member of uniform cross section of material open from end to end, forming a cylinder at one end of relatively large diameter and adapted to form a tampon holder. said cylinder having a semi-flexible outlining wall, a stem of relatively small cross section forming the other end of the applicator and composed of a set of longitudinally extending corrugations coacting to give rigidity to the stem. said tubular stem proyiding a conduit for releasing from the vaginal canal, as the applicator is being withdrawn, any air pressure which may have accumulated in the cylinder incidental to the advancing of the tampon into place and a frusto-conical portion forming an integral connection between the large diametered holder and the small cross section stem and providing a frusto-conical annular seat for the tampon in the holder.

19. A self-sustaining intravaginal tampon comprising at least one layer of cotton forming initially a flat rectangular blank provided with opposing long parallel edges, said blank being slightly twisted about a longitudinal, self-contained axis and compressed to shape the tampon in a cylindrical form for the major portion of its length said tampon retaining its twisted form until wetted by virtue of being so compressed, and the two outer long edges forming a cylindrical, thread-like helix about the perimeter of the cylindrical part and said tampon when wetted by the menstrual flow slightly unwinding about said longitudinal axis in a tendency to restore itself to its initial flat form and said helix forming edges acting to curl into the folds of the canal wall with a screw-like action to insure a snug, adhesively sealing fit between the tampon and the canal walls as they close on the tampon.

20. An intravaginal tampon formed solely of absorbent material compressed into a cylindrical body portion and twisted about its own axis having an enlarged head at one end and in which tampon a large proportion of the material is massed into the head, said tampon when dry having a length materially less than one-half of the length of the vaginal canal into which it is designed to be intruded, said tampon adapted to be located high in the vaginal canal and spaced from both the cervix and from the vaginal orifice,

said tampan when wetted by the menstrual flow having capacity to expand radially throughout its, length and to distend in both axial directions lengthwise, from a relatively fixed point midlength of the body portion, the extent of distention of the headed end forwardly of said point being more extensive than the distention of the rear end of the body portion rearwardly of said point, whereby there is eventually formed in the canal a saturated tampon of substantially frustoconical form having its larger end projected forwardly towards the cervix and its smaller, end located forwardly of the sphincter muscles at the orifice.

21. In a catamenial device for use within the human vaginal canal to receive and to prevent leakage from the canal of the menstrual flow, a hard plug composed solely of a fibrous absorbent material having a cylindrical body portion fashioned to fit in the canal in inwardly spaced relation to the sphincter muscles, with a rounded head forming a blunt dilator at its inner end for opening the vaginal canal as the plug is passed into place, the material forming the plug being in sufficient mass so that when wetted it will distend the walls at the inner end of the vaginal canal and thus tend to seal the canal adjacent the cervix, said material being compressed to an til wetted by the menstrual flow in the canal and when wetted capable of expanding automatically from its compressed form to assume substantially a frusto-conical form in the resulting tampon, said plug comprising initially a long rectangular flat strip of the material twisted about its longitudinal axis as a center and compressed axially, the outer long edges of the initial strip forming in the side of the finished plug a screwthread-like helical line having greater permeability to the infiltration of the menstrual flow than the balance of the plug and the resulting tampon having a tendency to unwind as it becomes wetted along its length bythe menstrual now and to unwind with a slight reverse twist about its axis to thus cause the surface of the tampon to bear on the walls of the canal with a screw-like action as it distends the canal walls further beyond the position into which they were distended by the plug when in its inserted size and a flexible withdrawal member secured to the cylindrical body portion,

22. A catamenial device for absorbing the menstrual flow and for providing an internal seal for the human vaginal canal to avoid leakage therefrom, comprising an elongated intravaginal.

tampon initially of approximately cylindrical contour for the major portion of its length and having one end enlarged to form a hard round top head of greater cross sectional area than the cylindrical portion compressed to a degree to maintain its form until wetted and automatically expandable when wetted by the menstrual flow sufllcient to distend the walls of that part of the vaginal canal in which it is located with greater distention at the headed end than at the cylindrical end, the surface of said tampon formed of absorbent material and fashioned in its original length dimension and in the mass of material used to be contained high in the human vaginal canal even when distended in use, all surfaces of the tampon providing absorption surfaces and the side of the tampon providing'in its absorption surface a line having greater permeability to the infiltration of the menstrual flow than at other portions of the tampon, said line initially forming a cylindrical helix about the cylindrical portion and when wetted forming a conflal helix exposed to the wall of the vaginal can I 23. An intravaginal tampon comprising a plurality of layers of absorbent material initially in superposed relation with a layer of gauze therebetween and a line of stitching for securing the layers together and said layers being twisted and the twisted layers highly compressed, and said tampon capable of maintaining its twisted and compressed form independently of said stitching. 24. In the art of forming blanks from which intravaginal tampons are formed, the method which consists in assembling a plurality of such blanks, each formed or two long thin bats of cotton superposed one on the other with a layer of gauze therebetween and feeding the blanks, one after the other, to the action of a jump-stitch sewing machine in such way as to pass a line of stitching at least partially across each blank,

extent to cause the plug to maintain its form unpermitting the machine threads-to extend freely and continuously between adjacent blanks so sewed and subsequently severing the connecting pon, the method which consists in twisting an elongated flat strip of absorbent material about a longitudinal axis and subjecting the resulting twisted blank to the action of a die press capable of compressing the strip both longitudinally and transversely into a substantially cylindrical form of tampon with a pressure capable, of causing the tampon to retain its shape until wetted.

of the blank unstitched, said blank being slightly 26. A blank for insertion in a suitable die press twisted about its longitudinal axis and its outer edges forming a cylindrical, thread-like helix when the blank is compressed in the die press.

2'1. A catamenial tampon formedfrom a blank composed of two parallel lengths of cotton with a length of gauze between the cotton, said blank twisted about a longitudinal axis, compressed along said axis and maintaining its compressed form until wetted, said tampon provided at one end with an integral, hard, bulbous head, and said tampon fashioned in its length dimension to be contained high in the human vaginal canal with the headed end adjacent the cervix and a withdrawal member secured to the tampon in spaced relation to said head.

VERNON CALHOUN.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/15, 604/377, 604/904
International ClassificationA61F13/20
Cooperative ClassificationY10S604/904, A61F13/2051
European ClassificationA61F13/20C