US 2998010 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Allg- 29, 1961 E. A. GRlsWoLD ET AL 2,998,010
CATAMENIAL TAMPON Filed June 6, 1958 INI/ENTORS E/MLE /7- G/SWOLD BY ALBERT w EW/N@ A TT ORN EY5 @12.23, /Yow'r K1/rnd.
p l 2,998,010 CATAMENIAL TAMPON Earle A. Griswold, Palmer, and Albert W. Lewing, Monson, Mass., assignors to Tampax Incorporated, Palmer, Mms., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 6, 1958, Ser. No. 740,378 Claims. (Cl. 12S-285) This invention relates to catamenial tampons and, more particularly, to absorbent tampons having a moisture resistant barrier at the lower or outer end thereof (when considered as in position in use) for retarding iiow of menstrual iluid through or out of the tampon suciently for substantially complete absorption thereof by the absorbent medium in the tampon.
Considering as illustrative catamential tampons for insertion into the human vagina for absorption of menstrual ow therein, such as are shown in the patents to Voss, No. 2,076,389, and McLaughlin, No. 2,416,706, it is to be Anoted that the tampons are formed of a compressed mass of absorbent fibers which is inserted into the vagina and retained therein by the vaginal sphinctre in such position as to absorb the menstrual ow in the mass of fibres. As is Well known, the Volume and rate of menstrual ilow vary over wide ranges not only from time to time within the menstrual period but also greatly from person to person. Thus, the situation may arise where, during a period when the menstrual ow is particularly heavy and/or, perhaps, at a time when the tampon has already absorbed a substantial proportion of its capacity of menstrual fluid, some small amount of 4the fluid may actually pass all the way through the tampon before it can be absorbed and retained therein. Since even a tiny amount of menstrual fluid emerging from the vagina is undesirable and, perhaps, embarrassing, it may be desired to assure against this situation no matter how infrequently it may be expected to happen.
According -to this invention, then, a catamenial tampon of the character described is provided with a moisture resistant barrier at the lower or outer end thereof for the purpose of retarding flow out of the tampon sulficiently so that any fluid attempting so to iiow out will be retained mechanically for a sufficient time for the fluid to be `absorbed in the absorbent mass of the tampon libres, but not suiciently to dam or undesirably prevent continued and natural menstrual iow.
On object of this invention is to provide a catamenial tampon of the character described having a moisture resistant barrier at the lower or outer end thereof for the purpose of retarding outward Iflow of body tluid from the tampon but only suiciently for such outwardly uid to be absorbed in the absorbent fibres of the tampon.
VAnother object of this invention is to provide an absorbent catamenial tampon of the character described having a compressed mass of absorbent bresto absorb catamenial ow and with a moisture resistant barrier at the lower or outer end thereof to retard the outward ow of fluid from the absorbent libres and yet without undesirably retarding the natural owor decreasing the capacity of the fibres to absorb uid without constricting expansion of the tampon in the vagina.
A further object of this invention is to provide, in a catamenial tampon of the character described, a moisture resistant barrier or cup of fabric or other sheet material at the lower or outer end of the tampon for at least tem.- porarily retarding the outward now of body fluid therefrom when the tampon is inserted into a vagina for use.
Other objects and advantages Yof this invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawing, and the appended claims.
In the drawing- FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tampon embodying arent this invention as manufactured and prior to insertion, with part of the applicator tube in which the tampon is sold broken away;
FIG. 2 is a vertical median section through a human vagina and adjacent organs showing a tampon embodying this invention in position for use;
FIG. 3 is a view of a tampon embodying this invention and more or less expanded (as after having been ejected vfrom the applicator tube of FIG. l and in position as in FIG. 2) for increased absorption as when in use;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view, somewhat diagrammatic, of a partly manufactured tampon prior to compression of the tampon and its mass of absorbent fibres into a generally cylindrical mass, and illustrating one means of aflixing a moisture resistant barrier according to this invention;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary showing, somewhat diagrammatically, of an embodiment for practicing this invention in which the moisture proof barrier at the bottom of the cotton bat is provided for enclosing an additional area of the bat than in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary showing, somewhat diagrammatically, and in perspective `as FIG. 5 illustrating a situation Where the moisture proof barrier is folded around and over the edge portions of the original tampon bat prior to compression thereof; and
FIG. 7 is a further fragmentary and somewhat diagrammatic illustration in perspective of a further embodiment of the application of `a moisture proof or retarding barrier according -to this invention.
Referring to the drawing, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several Views thereof, a catamenial tampon, generally such las those to which this invention relates, is illustrated in FIG. l as comprising a compressed mass of absorbent cotton bres 10 compressed into a :generally cylindrical form and partially enclosed a cylindrical tube 11 to aid in the insertion of the tampon into the vagina. A telescoping cooperating tube 12 is also provided for ejecting the tampon 10 from the tube 11 after the insertion thereof into the vagina, and a cord or string 13y is shown as affixed to the tampon 10 to aid in the removal thereof from the vagina after use. Such a tampon is well known in this art, and both it and methods of its manufacture are well understood, as, for example, illustrated by the aforementioned patents.
As indicated in FIG. 2, insertionof the-tampon is accomplished by inserting the tip of the outer tube 11 into.
the vaginal opening andpast the vaginal sphinctre 20, and then ejecting the tampon 10 from tube 11 by depressing telescoping tube 12 `so that the tampon, after insertion, assumes generally the position indicated in FIG..
2 substantially filling the vagina Z1 and in a position with respect to the uterus 22 to receive and absorb catamenial fluid flowing into the vagina 21. Although tampons according to this invention are selected as to size and manufactured to accommodate wide variations in quantity and rate of menstrual flow, there may occur an excessively copious surge or a situation where the tampon is almostl completely full of absorbed fluid or some sudden unusual exercise on the part of the wearer whereby menstrual fluid tlows into the tampon at so great a rate that it willtemporarily and until such outliowing uid can be absorbed and retained by the absorbent fibres in the tampon. Such a moisture resistant barrier is indicated in FIG..3 .as comprising a cup-shaped covering 30 provided over the lower end of the tampon and treated -to be substantially resistant or impervious to body duid. The cup 30 is so dimensioned that it will not substantially constrainthe full expansion of the compressed tampon from its compressed form indicated in the applicator tube V11 of FIG. 1 to its expanded position indicated in FIG. 2 in place in the vagina, although, as will be noted from FIG. 2, cup 30 is at an endof the tampon 10 which, because of the natural shape ofthe vagina 21, need not, perhaps, expand to such as full an extent as other portions of the tampon. `Such an arrangement provides for the moisture resistant barrier of cup 30 at least retarding outward flow of fluid from the lower end of the tampon suciently for any free flowing fluid retained by cup 30 to be absorbed or re-absorbed by the normal absorbing, capillary, etc., action of the mass of absorbent fibres.
It should be noted that the cap or barrier 30 preferably is configured, in the finished tampon, as in FIG. 3 to cover not only the bottom end of the tampon but also to extend a portion of the way along the sides thereof (perhaps three quarters of an inch to one inch, as illustrative), but note that the FIG. 3 showing is of a tampon after compression in the generally cylindrical dies as used in the manu-facture ,of tampons of this character. As so compressed, the moisture resistant covering 30 of sheet material provides a covering over the base or lower or external end of t-he tampon and is afxed thereto by being adhered to the end of the compressed mass of libres and/or by being alixed to the withdrawal cord 13.
One satisfactory method for the manufacturing of an absorbent cotton catamenial tampon of the characterY to which this invention relates is to take a more or less rectilinear bat 40 of absorbent cotton (perhaps one quarter inch or less in thickness and one and three-quarters inches more or less wide and four inches long) and sew withdrawal cord 13 along the center thereof. Thereafter bat 40 is compressed into its desired cylindrical shape in cylindrical molds or otherwise, as well understood in this art.
As indicated in FIG.V 4, a rectilinear bat 40 has withdrawal cord 13 sewn down the center thereof as 'by stitches 41. Prior to the sewing operation, a piece of moisture resistant fabric or other sheet material 42 is folded over one end of bat 40, and afl'ixed thereto during the sewing operations by stitches 41 uniting withdrawal cord `13 with both bat 40 and abric42. Thereafter, the entire partially finished tampon (illustrated in FIG. 4), including the fabric barrier 42, is subjected to the usual molding or forming or compressing operations to form the compressed cylindrical tampon 10 for insertion, as in FIG. l, into applicator tube 11. During this molding or forming operation, as lwill be understood, the open edges 43 of fabric covering 42 will be brought together, overlapped, and more or less intertwined to provide in the finished compressed tampon a moisture resistant cup 30 as vindicated in FIG. 3. It may be desired, of course, actually to seal or affix together open edges `43 of fabric covering 42, al-V though satisfactory results are Iobtained upon compressing and molding the partially completed tampons shown in FIG. 4 without, necessarily, providing a speciiic adhesive or other closure or seam for the edge portions 43.
Satisfactory results are also obtained according to this invention, by providing, as moisture resistant Ibarrier 30, a sheet material of moisture resistant paper, plastic, or fabric, as indicated in FIG. 5 at 42 to be applied over the base or lower end of 1the bat 4l) from which the tampon is to be formed or compressed and to be ali'ixed thereto, as in the illustration of FIG. 4, by stitches 41, which are also utilized to unite the bat 40 and withdrawal stri-ng 13. As will be noted in the embodiment illustrated in FIG, 5, the edges 46 of the moisture resistant sheet material 42 extend substantially beyond the lateral edges of absorbent cotton bat 40 so that, as more particularly illustrated in FIG. 6, these extending edges 46 can be folded back on or around bat 4o, indicated in FIG. 6, to form a rectilinear package prior to compression or forming of the rectilinear b-at into a circular tampon (for example, as illustrated in FIG. 3) in the usual cylindrical compression dies.
As a further advantage of this invention, of course, it should be understood as including the outer or lower end -25 of the tampon as being sprayed with or dipped in a moisture resistant material, such as a synthetic resin as noted, and/ or as having the sheet material 42 sprayed with or dipped in a moisture resistant composition, either before or after formation thereof on to bat 40 or in, a cylindrical tampon 10, the cup 30 thus being integrally formed to enhance the moisture barrier effects thereof. As illustrative of materials with which satisfactory results have been obtained with the moisture resistant sheet material for use in practicing this invention may. be noted paper or plastic sheets or woven or non-woven fabrics (by which terms should be understood braided, knitted, felted, etc., fabrics) inherently resistant or treated to be resistant to body fluids by any one of a number of well known methods. For example, there are noted well known, more or less moisture impervious or retardant sheet materials, such as impregnated gauze, other impregnated or not impregnated woven cloth of various natural and synthetic `fibres, wet-strength papers and related felted cellulosic products, and this invention also contemplates the direct application (on either the absorbent cotton libres themselves in bat 40 or tampon 10 or on a gauze or other fabric or webbing or sheet ma` terial covering 42) of any one of a number of various moisture-resistant materials. For example, an alcohol-y ether solution of cellulose nitrate can readily, in known manner, be provided on either the lower or outer end of the tampon to form the desired moisture resistant barrier and/or on a gauze covering 42 which may be preliminarily formed (as at 3i) in FIG. 3 to provide the desired cup eiect) and thereafter rendered sufficiently moisture resistant to provide the retarding barrier `embodying and for practicing this invention. Similarly, ethyl cellulose dissolved inv chlorinated hydrocarbons, in known manner, may provide a similar moisture conditioning material, in addition to those moisture resistant sheet or fabric materials well known in this art.V Also vinyl acetate resins `dissolved fin chlorinated hydrocarbons, silicone substances in various aqueous emulsions, etc., are all to be considered as included vwithin the contemplation of the present invention and, with satisfactory results, within a range of, approximately, 1%-5% concentration as applied to the particular sheet material or tampon involved.
As a further feature of this invention, it may be pre' ferred to .employ a construction somewhat as illustrated, diagammatically, in FIG. 7, in which the usual rectilinear bat 40 of absorbent material is provided (of course, prior to compression vthereofinto a cylindrical form as in FIG. 3) having around the lower or outer edge thereofV a moisture resistant barrier or sheet material layer 42 united with absorbent cotton bat 40 by, as in 'the previous illustrations, stitching 41, which also unites the entire assembly with Ya .withdrawal string V1?. Whether or not thevedges 43 of the moisture resistant fabric or sheet material 42 do or do ynot extend beyond the transverse dimension of bat 40 (as in FIG. 4 or, alternatively, as in the construction indicated in FIGS. 5 and 6'), the barrier or sheet material 42 is applied t0 bat 40 to form the moisture resistant cup 30 as previously Vdescribed.
Since the bat of absorbent cotton Vor absorbent cotton wool 40 is, naturally made up of a ,plurality of :more .or less distinct layers united fby the stitching 41, some vadvantage may b e gained by Vapplying a further minute layer 50 of absorbent cotton more or less indistinguishable from bat 40 over the outside of sheet material 42, said extra layer 50 (which, as will be understood, is applied to both sides of bat 40) may be stitched thereto and integrated therewith by the same stitching 41. In this case, and as illustrated in FIG. 7, such an arrangementafter being compressed in the usual cylindrical compression die into a generally cylindrical tampon as in FIG. 3-will provide the merits of the moisture retarding barrier according to this invention without having the existence of this barrier immediately apparent to an observer of the nished tampon.
The advantages of such an arrangement are, as will be understood, correlated to a substantial extent with the inherent intimacy of the use of a catamenial tampon by the user thereof. Thus, for example, the ultimate eliiciency and utility of a commercially acceptable tampon has to do primarily with the fact that the user is interested primarily in complete protection from any outward show or inconvenience resulting from the inevitable menstrual cycle. lf this complete freedom can be obtained, the user of the tampon will accept it as an article of utility; if the tampon fails to provide the desired amount of protection, the user will be dissatisfied. lt is also known that damming of the menstrual llow or otherwise interfering with the natural llow thereof is psychologically and physiologically disadvantageous. Accordingly, and particularly with regard to the construction illustrated in FIG. 7, substantial commercial and psychological advantage may be gained and/or preferred if the user of the tampon is not aware (because of the overlying layer 50 of absorbent cotton iibres hiding the moisture proof barrier sheet material 42) that a moisture proof barrier exists, for the reason, among others, that, if the tampon visually appeared to the user (who is, of course, unskilled in the art of tampon manufacture and, inevitably, uninterested in the technology thereof), the user might confuse in her mind the existence of a moisture proof barrier with an undesired, physiological, damming effect-which effect, as previously noted, is not produced by tampons according to and embodying this invention.
In any case, however, it should be noted that the provision of moisture proof barrier 30, whether as a cup enclosing a substantial portion of the lower end of the tampon or otherwise, results primarily in a moisture resistant reservoir area at the base or lower or outer end of the tampon to retain body uid at least temporarily until it can be absorbed in the usual and normal manner by the absorbent fibres of the tampon. Such barrier is not meant to restrain in any way the expansion characteristics of the tampon in use nor is it meant to constrain the inherent resiliency of the iibres, as would be the case with a tight fitting or closed pervious covering, nor the normal flow of menstrual lluid. In addition to that above noted, as will be understood, the particular material from which the moisture proof barrier 30 is made and/or the particular material or treatment utilized to render barrier 30 adequately moisture resistant are all selected so as to be physiologically inert and non-irritating when in use as well as to be in no way inimical to the normal physiological, bacteriological, etc., environment of the human vagina and the tissues thereof with which they will be in contact.
As will be seen from the foregoing, an improved tampon is provided by this invention whereby, without otherwise substantially affecting the size, degree of compression, or capacity for absorption and iinid retention of the compressed absorbent libres, a moisture resistant area or reservoir is formed at the outer or lower end of the tampon to retard or retain (at least temporarily and not beyond the normal and appropriate of the physiological system encountered) outward liow of uid, whether arising from a sudden surge in menstrual flow or from Iother causes such as expulsion of already absorbed fluid by sudden muscular activity of the user, so that such excess or tmabsorbed or expulsed fluid is retarded from flowing out of the tampon sufficiently for the unabsorbed fluid to be absorbed or reabsorbed in the usual way by the absorbent mass of compressed iibres as desired.
While the methods and products described herein constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise methods and products and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as dened in the accompanying claims.
What :is claimed is:
1. A catamem'al tampon ot the character described for insertion into the human vagina which comprises a generally cylindrical compressed mass of absorbent fibres for absorbing and retaining body fluid in said vagina, a moisture-resistant cup-like barrier enclosing the outer and lower end of said tampon when in position in said vagina for retarding outward flow of body uid from said tampon, and a cord for withdrawing said tampon from said vagina after use.
2. A catamenial tampon of the character. described for insertion into the human vagina which comprises a generally cylindrical compressed mass of absorbent libres for absorbing and retaining body fluid in said vagina, a moisture-resistant cup-like barrier at and covering the outer and lower end of said tampon when in position in said vagina for retarding outward flow of body iluid from said tampon, and a cord for withdrawing said tampon from said vagina after use, said moisture-resistant ybarrier being axed to said cord.
3. A catamenial tampon of the character described for insertion into the human vagina which comprises a generally cylindrical compressed mass of absorbent :libres for absorbing and retaining body uid in said vagina, a cup-shaped moisture-resistant sheet material barrier at and over the outer and lower end of said tampon when in position in said vagina for retarding outward ilow of body duid from said tampon, and a cord for withdrawing said tampon from said vagina after use.
4. A catamenial tampon of the character described for insertion into the human yagma which comprises a generally cylindrical compressed mass of absorbent fibres for absorbing and retaining body iluid in said vagina, a moisture-resistance cup-like fabric barrier enclosing the outer and lower end of said tampon .when in position in said vagina for retarding outward flow of body luid from said tampon, and a cord for withdrawing said tampon from said vagina after use. 5. A catamenial tampon of the character described for msertion into the human vagina which comprises a generally cylindrical compressed mass of absorbent bres for absorbing and retaining body lluid in said vagina, a moisture-resistant oupshaped sheet material barrier enclosing the outer and lower end ot' said tampon when in position in said vagina for retardin-g outward ow of body duid from said tampon, and a cord for withdrawing said tampon from said vagina after use, said moistureresistant barrier being axed to said cord.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,555,708 Gale y Sept. 29, 1925 2,123,750 Schulz July 12, 1938 2,330,257 Bailey v Sept. 28, 1943 2,553,382 Riordan May 15, -1 2,601,633 Riordan June 24, 1952 2,844,150 Draghi July 22, 1958