US 3102541 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. E. ADAMS sept. 3, 1963 CATAMENIAL DEVICE Filed July 10, 1961 mvENToIL duff/v .E imm [ffy/'wy All,
United States Patent 3,102,541 CATAMENIAL DEVICE Warren E. Adams, 510 E. 86th St., New York, NY. Filed July lil, 1961, Ser. N 122,978 8 Claims. (Cl.` 12S- 285) This invention relates to catamenial devices, and particularly to a trap-like device which is insertable into `the vaginal canal of the female person for the reception and hygienic disposition of menstrual secretions.
The commonly used menstrual protection devices are the sanitary napkin and the tampon. These work on the principle of absorption and disposal, and have well known disadvantages. The use of the sanitary napkin often causes chang as a result of the rubbing of the napkin against the skin, and does not prevent the presence of unpleasant odors caused by the secretions which are collected externally. The use of the tampon and similar devices which require a pull or withdrawal string stitched to the device similarly do not prevent odors because the string on occasion becomes saturated with the menstrual secretions and, in addition, causes staining of the clothing. If the tampon is incorrectly inserted, leakage occurs due to the passage of menstrual secretions around the tampon.
Re-usable menstrual cups have also been` proposed, but these are diiiicult to insert into the vagina and require cleaning after each use. Once used, these cups are no longer aseptic and the re-use thereof under varying situations is distasteful to many women.
The catamenial device of the present invention is an internal menstrual protection device which overcomes the foregoing disadvantages. The device is, designed to be used only once and then discarded, and is based on the collection and disposal of secretions as opposed to the popular method of absorption and disposal. Among the advantages of the present invention are: The catamenial device is easily and simply insertable by means of an applicator having a plunger providing direct and positive action against a resilient and compressible ring which is adapted to rest or nest within the dispensing tube; the device is formed from a liquid impervious tubular member the bottom of which is sealed to constitute a' pull or withdrawal string, thereby obviating the need for conventional strings which are stitched to the tampon and similar devices; and the device of the invention is compressible within an applicator-dispenser to constitute therewith a highly compact, light-weight, easy to manufacture and inexpensive product which is leak-proof and prevents the passage of secretions around it.
A detailed description of the invention follows in conjunction with a drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the catamenial device `of the invention after it has been expelled from the applicator-dispensing unit and ready for use within the vaginal canal;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view showing both the applicator-dispenser and the catamenial device contained therein;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2 showing the catamenial device partly expelled from the applicatordispenser by inward pressure on the plunger of the applicator;
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view of FIG. 2 taken along the line `4 4 as seen looking down on the open end of the applicator-dispenser; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention.
Throughout the ligures of the drawing the same parts are represented by the same reference numerals.
The catamenial, device of FIGS. l, 2 and 3 comprises ICC a. very thin pliable sheet of liquid impervious thermoplastic material 12 which is open at one end 14 and closed at its other end 16. A compressible and resilient washer-like rubber ring 10, or functionally equivalent construction, is attached to the thermoplasticslieet material 12 at the open end, as shown. The material 12, is Very thin and may be vinyl, polyethylene or the like, of a thickness about .007 inch, and must be capable of being heated to plasticity under the action of a high frequency electric iield created by an electronic dielectric heat sealing machine. The marginal edge of the end 14 of the material 12 is folded around the compressibleresilient ring 10, and the folded-over marginal edge is heat-sealed (fused or bonded) with a continuous seal around the ring to contain the ring within the foldedover portion, while the other end `16 of the material 12 is closed as for example by twisting and/or transverse compression to form a pull or withdrawal string which is completely heat-sealed (fused or bonded). Dielectric heat sealing machines containing high frequency electronic generators for pnoducing `the desired high frequency electric eld to heat the ends of the material 12 `to plasticity are well known. lt should be observed that the device forms a cup-like trap or collecting portion for the menstrual secretions.
When the device is in place within the vaginal canal, the compressible-resilient ring 10 lits around the end or neck of the uterus. The ring is 4designed to fit snugly but lightly against the interior wall of the vaginal canal with suicient pressure to hold the device firmly in position within the vagina to prevent fluid leakage around the ring but without causing discomfort. Stated another way, the ring will in its expanded state conform to the general contour of the vaginal canal. The catamenial device utilizes substantially the entire vaginal canal with the pull or withdrawal string extending out from the vagina.
The ring 10 may be a narrow, compressible and resilient rubber material, or a coiled metall-ic spring of desirable springiness to retain the open end of the catamenial device in an expanded or spread-out condition, or any other suitable material designed to achieve the desired results.
The tubular portion of the `catamenial device is provided, if desired, with a plurality of physically spacedapart tiny pin holes 18 located about two-thirds of the way down from the open end 14, for example four in number, to permit thel escape of gases which may be caused by the collection of the menstrual secretions within the device. These holes are too small to permit the escape of the secretions within the device.
The catamenial device is marketed within an applicatordispenser, as a unit. The applicator-dispenser comprises an outer tube 20, prefer-ably of paper, cardboard or similar Icheap soluble material which serves as a container therefor. An inner tube 22 "of similar material is slid within one extremity 'of the outer tube 20. One end 24 of the inner tube 22 rests against the ring 1t!` which occupies a folded or compressed position near one end of the tube 20. FIG. 4 shows a rubber ring in the folded position. The inner tube 22 `acts as a plunger to expel the ring 10 and attached material 12 from the dispenser tube when the plunger inner tube 22 is pressed inward.
'In use, the tube 2()l is inserted into the vagina, the` tions, thedevice is removed by drawing on the withdrawal string 16.
To prevent accidental ejection of the catamenial device from the outer tube 20 while the combined unit is being carried in 'a purse lor being handled outside the body, the outer tube 20 is punched slightly to provide a nib or protruding point 26 which frictionally engages the inner tube 22. This friction is merely sufficient to prevent accidental movement of the inner tube but does not interfere with the movement of the inner tube when exposed to deliberate inner pressure by the hand.
'Phe embodiment of FIG. 5 differs from that of FIG. 1 merely in the use of a spirally wound, resilient and compressible narrow rubber ribbonl or spring material 28.
In lone way of fabricating the catamenial device, a rectangular-shaped -work blank of very thin plastic sheet material may be folded so that its long edges meet or overlap to form a hollow tube yor cylinder, and these long edges then sealed or fused in a continuous line from one end of the tube to the other by a dielectric heat sealing machine. Instead of a blank to be folded by the manufacturer, 1an already formed tube of i e same sheet material can be purchased, in which case it is unnecessary to form a tube from a hat sheet. One end of the hollow tube is twisted to close the tube at that end and the twisted portion Atightly sealed by the heat sealing machine, While the other end of the hollow tube is folded over the ring l and sealed in the manner of a hem with the ring contained within the hem. This last marginal end portion .of the plastic material may be folded over the ring 10 from the inside or from the outside of the ring. With such a fabrication pnocess, the side portions yof the catameni-al device will be creased for la portion of the length thereof near the closed end. A series of such catamenial devices may be marketed in small, medium and large sizes, the difference being primarily in the size Yof the ring 10, to assure a pnoper fit for all women.
What is claimed is:
1. A catamenial device for the collection and disposal of secretions, comprising la thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material of tubular shape open at :one end and closed at its other end, the marginal portion :of said thermoplastic material -at said open end being folded over a com-pressible resilient ring and heat-sealed to contain said ring within said fold, said other end being twisted and yheat-sealed to form a withdrawal string. p
2. A catamenial -device for the collection and disposal of secretions, comprising a thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material fof tubular shape open ait one end and closed at its Iother end, the marginal pori tion of said thermoplastic material at said open end being folded `over a compressible resilient ring and heat-sealed to contain said ring iwithin said fold, said other end being twisted `and heat-sealed to form a withdrawal string, said pliable plastic material being provided with a plurality of very small physically spaced-apart holes 4above said closed end, said holes being of such size as ,to
permit the escape of gases caused by the collection of secretions within said device but not the escape of said secretions therethrough.
3. A catameni-al device for the collection and disposal of secretions, -comprising a thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material lof tubular shape open at fone end land closed at its other end, the marginal portion of said thermoplastic material at said .open end being folded yover a compressible resilient ring and heatsealed to contain said ring within said fold, said other end of the plastic material being twisted `and |heat-sealed to form a withdrawal string, Iand a spirally wound compressible resilient ribbon within said device extending from the open end to the closed end thereof.
4. A catamenial device for the collection and disposal lof secretions, comprising a thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material of tubular shape open at one end and closed at its other end, said` last end being heat-sealed over a portion of the length of said sheet material to form a withdrawal string, and a spirally wound compressible resilient ribbon within the interior of said device extending from the open end to the closed end thereof.
5. A catamenial device for the collection and disposal of secretions, comprising a thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material of tubular shape open at one end and closed at its other end, the marginal portion of said thermoplastic material at said open end being folded 4over a compressi'ble resilient ring and heatsealed to contain said ring within said fold, said other end being compressed and heat-sealed .over an appreciable portion of the length of said sheet material to form a withdrawal string.
'6. The combination of a catamenial device for the collection and disposal yof secretionsfand `an `applicatordispenser therefor, lsaid device comprising a thin l1qu1d impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material open at one end and closed at its other end, the marginal portion vof said thermoplastic material at said vopen end being folded over a compressible resilient ring and heat-sealed to cont-ain said ring within `s-aid fold, said other end being compressed and heat-sealed @over a portion of the length of said sheet material to constitute a withdrawal string, the length of said device from said open end to said closed end being adapted to extend substantially the length of the entire vaginal canal, said applicator-dispenser comprising outer and inner hollow tubes of soluble material, said inner tube being slid within said -outer tube and having such length that it extends from a point outside one end of said outer tube to a point within but near the other `end of the outer tube, said catamenial device being compressed `within said inner tube with said ring nesting within the outer tube near said other end thereof 4and adjacent to but outside that end of the inner tube which is Within the outer tube, whereby said inner tube acts las a plunger to expel said ring and sheet material in response to inward pressure on the inner tube.
7. The method of fabricating a catamenial device, com prising folding a substantially rectangular-shaped work blank of thin thermoplastic sheet material and heat-sealing the longitudinal yedges thereof in a continuous line to form a cylinder, folding one end portion of the cylinder overa compressible resilient ring and heat-sealing said folded-over portion with the ring contained within the fold, 'and clos-ing the other end of said cylinder by compressing and heat-sealing a portion transversely yof the length of the cylinder 4at a distance appreciably above said other end, to thereby forma withdrawal string.
8. A catamenial device `for the collection yand disposal of secretions, comprising a thin liquid impervious thermoplastic pliable sheet material of tubular shape open at one end and closed at its other end, the marginal portion of said thermoplastic material vat said open end being folded over a compressible resilient ring and heat-sealed to contain said ring within said fold, said other end being compressed .and heat-sealed over an appreciable portion of the length Vof said sheet material to form a withdrawal string, the length of said sheet material of tubular shape between said open -and closed ends being adapted to extend substantially the entire length of the vaginal canal of the female for whom the device is intended. Y
,References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,089,113 Chalmers Aug. 3, 1937 2,182,702 Previn Dec. 5, 1939 2,285,981 Johns lune 9, 1942 2,391,343 Popper Dec. 18, 1945 2,697,057 Senger et lal. Dec. 14, 1954 2,910,065 Marsan Oct. 27, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 549,150 Great Britain Nov. 9, 1942 1,131,834 France Feb. 28, 1957