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Publication numberUS3521637 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1970
Filing dateNov 28, 1967
Priority dateNov 28, 1967
Also published asDE1807734A1
Publication numberUS 3521637 A, US 3521637A, US-A-3521637, US3521637 A, US3521637A
InventorsWaterbury Nelson J
Original AssigneeHaskett Barry F, Joan Hixon Martin, John J Matonis, Nicholas R Dupont, Waterbury Nelson J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tampon or similar sanitary napkin containing vitamin a
US 3521637 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1970 J. WATERBU RY TAMPON OR SIMILAR SANITARY NAPKIN CONTAINING VITAMIN A Filed Nov. 28, 196'? FIG. 2

FIG. 3

' INVENTOR NELSON J WATERBURY A ORNEY United States Patent ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A tampon or similar sanitary napkin containing vitamin A either microencapsulated within the fibrous matrix of the tampon or enclosed within one or more rupturable membranes or capsules within the tampon matrix, such rupturable membranes or capsules being broken by the exertion of slight finger pressure or mechanical opening before insertion of the tampon or similar article. The microencapsulated vitamin A is also released by slight finger pressure, or by the heat of the body adjacent the vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin, etc.

This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application, Ser. No. 637,270, filed May 9, 1967, now abandoned.

The present invention relates to new and improved tampons and sanitary napkins or similar articles and more particularly to such tampons, sanitary or similar articles which contain a minor amount of vitamin A microencap- 'sulated throughout the fibrous matrix of the article or encapsulated within one or more rupturable membranes or capsules within the matrix of the tampon or similar article.

There exists in the female body a complicated process which maintains the vagina and other related delicate areas in a normal healthy state most of the time. During the menses, however, this normal healthy state of the vaginal area is disrupted to some extent and at such time the vagina may become more susceptible to infection than usual. Such infection is commonly called vaginitis, a condition which develops more easily in some women than others, and which is frequently associated with their monthly discharge period. The danger of infection increases during this time because foreign microorganisms or other outside sources of infection may be introduced through careless handling of sanitary napkins, or more especially, through careless handling and insertion of absorbent tampons.

The normally healthy vaginal area is also disrupted during the time of pregnancy. The vaginal area at this time, therefore, is similarly subject to various disorders such as vaginitis. Other disorders of the vagina and vulva which can occur during the menses and during pregnancy include for example, abnormal senile vaginitis, keratosis, dyskeratosis, hyperkeratinization and comification of the vagina and vulva.

It has now been found in accordance with the present invention that such disorders of the vagina and vulva can be prevented or treated by the incorporation within a 3,521,637 Patented July 28, 1970 ice conventional tampon or sanitary napkin or similar device a minor amount of vitamin A. In addition to preventing or treating the disorders of the vagina and vulva and other related areas which are prevalent during menses and pregnancy, the vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin, or similar device in accordance with the present invention also, in providing a ready method for the administration of vitamin A, allows for the regeneration of cornified vaginal epithelium.

It is, therefore, a principal object of the present invention to provide a new and improved vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin, or similar article which eliminates the inherent deficiencies and disadvantages of previously employed articles.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin or similar article containing a minor amount of vitamin A, either microencapsulated within the matrix of the article or encapsulated within one or more larger rupturable membranes or capsules within such matrix, said vitamin A being released either by the exertion of slight mechanical pressure or by the heat of the body adjacent the vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin, etc.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a method of supplying vitamin A to the vagina and vulva and other related areas so as to prevent and treat disorders associated with menses, pregnancy, etc.

Still further objects and advantages of the article and process of the present invention will become more apparent from the following more detailed description of the present invention and the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional vaginal tampon;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the vaginal tampon of FIG. 1 taken along line 22 showing one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a modified cross-sectional view of the tampon of FIG. 1 taken along line 22 showing a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a further modified cross-sectional view of the vaginal tampon of FIG. 1 taken along line 2r-2 showing a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a further modified cross-sectional view of the vaginal tampon of FIG. 1 taken along line 22 showing a further embodiment of the present invention.

In all of the figures like numerals represent like elements.

FIG. 1 shows a conventional vaginal tampon 1.

FIG. 2 shows a vaginal tampon 1 containing a conven tional cellulosic or paper wrapper 3 and a fibrous matrix 5 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

Vaginal tampons suitable for use in this invention are usually made of absorbent fibers, including natural and synthetic fibers, compressed into a unitary body of a size which may easily be inserted into the vaginal cavity. They are normally made in an elongated cylindrical form in order that they may have a sufiiciently large body of material to provide the required absorbing capacity, but may be made in a variety of shapes. The tampon may or may not be compressed, although compressed types are now generally preferred. The tampon described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,761,449, dated Sept. 4, 1956, is typical. This patent shows a tampon made of various fiber blends including both absorbent and nonabsorbent fibers, which may or may not have a suitable jacket or wrapper.

The fibrous matrix ordinarily used to make absorbent products, such as vaginal tampons, are usually cellulosic. Cotton and rayon, because of their highly absorbent prop erties, have been found particularly suitable. These cellulosic materials may be chemically modified to form cellulosic derivatives which have acidifying properties and at the same time retain essentially their original fibrous characteristics, thus permitting their use in absorbent products requiring a fibrous form and requiring the absorbent capacities obtainable with such fibers. For use in tampons, the fibers are usually modified so that they are essentially water insoluble so that they retain their fibrous form in order that they may be withdrawn from the vagina after use. Examples of such modified cellulosic materials include cellulose acid succinate, cellulose acid maleate and cellulose acid malonate; tricarboxylic acid esters, such as cellulose acid citrate; mineral acid esters, such as cellulose acid sulphate, phosphorylated cellulose and sulfonated cellulose; cellulose acid ethers, such as carboxymethyl cellulose, carboxyethyl cellulose; cellulose anhydrides, such as cellulose carboxymethyl anhydride; alkyl sulfonic acid ethers, such as sulfoethyl cellulose; phosphono alkylated celluloses; and mixtures thereof.

As shown in FIG. 2, the vaginal tampon 1 may contain a string 7 of any suitable material to assist in withdrawal of the tampon 1 after use. Additionally, the vaginal tampon 1 may have associated therewith a conventional insertion device, not shown.

Incorporated within the fibrous matrix 5 is a rupturable membrane 9 containing vitamin A 11 either alone or in aqueous or other suitable system, e.g., mineral oil. While vitamin A does not form a true solution in water it does form a colloidal suspension closely resembling a true solu tion and thus such a system can be advantageously employed within the rupturable capsules. Such a solution of vitamin A is shown in US. Pat. 2,417,291 and according by the term aqueous solution as employed throughout this application is meant to embrace such a system. The rupturable capsule 9, in accordance with this embodiment of the present invention, can be formed of an easily rupturable material which can be ruptured by the exertion of slight mechanical pressure exerted by pulling string 13. Suitable materials include, for example, gelatin, egg white, various synthetic resins, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, etc. The beneficial vitamin A is dispersed in the fibrous matrix by pulling string 13 extending from the tampon immediately before insertion. In this manner, the rupturable membrane breaks and the vitamin A is dispersed in liquid form in the fibrous matrix so that it can be easily and readily administered to the areas of the vagina and vulva to be treated. While FIG. 2 shows a large rupturable capsule 9 within the conventional tampon 1, it should be clear that this embodiment of the present invention also contemplates two or more rupturable capsules within the fibrous matrix 5.

While the fibrous matrix 5 alone is generally suflicient to retain the rupturable capsule 9 in an immobile position, FIG. 2 illustrates an alternative embodiment wherein an end wall 15 containing perforations 17 is provided adjacent the rupturable capsule 9. The end wall 15 can be made of any suitable paper, cardboard or plastic material. The perforations 17 allow passage of string 13 and vitamin A when released from the capsule 9. The end wall 15 prevents movement of the capsule 9 when string 13 is pulled before insertion.

The use of such a tampon 1 therefore, allows for a method of administering or distributing vitamin A to the vaginal area of the female body so as to prevent or treat those disorders associated with menses, pregnancy, etc. Such disorders include vaginitis and other disorders relating to the keratinization of the mucus membranes, of the vaginal area. It is believed that the vitamin A acts to prevent or treat such disorders of the vaginal area by revers ing the keratinization of the mucus membranes.

Additionally, the vitamin A tends to regenerate abnormal cornified vaginal epithelium tissue when applied as in accordance with the present invention.

Conventional vaginal tampons generally range in weight from about 1.8 to about 3 grams. Although they are capable of absorbing from about 5 ml. of fluid in the lower part of the range to about 10 ml. of fluid in the upper part of the range, they are ordinarily discarded before they become saturated and usually when they have absorbed about one half of the amounts of menstrual fluid they are capable of absorbing, e.g., from about 2.5 to about 5 ml. The amount of vitamin A to be incorporated in such a conventional tampon comprises only that amount necessary to be absorbed into the vaginal area so as to create the beneficial effect associated with the intake of vitamin A. Generally such amount ranges from about 0.01% to about 10% by weight of the tampon article, although lesser or greater amounts can be advantageously employed Where desired.

FIG. 3 illustrates a modified form of the tampon in accordance with the present invention. The tampon 1 shown in FIG. 3 again comprises a wrapper 3 having therein a fibrous matrix 5. Incorporated within the fibrous matrix 5 are two rupturable membranes or capsules 9 containing vitamin A 11 either alone or in aqueous or other suitable systems, e.g., mineral oil. While two rupturable capsules 9 are shown in this embodiment of the present invention, it is of course, obvious that a single capsule can be utilized, or alternatively, a multiplicity of smaller capsules can be suitably employed. The rupturable capsules 9 in accordance with this embodiment of the present invention can again be formed of any easily rupturable material which is capable of being ruptured by the exertion of slight pressure applied by pressing the fingers against the outer wrapper 3 prior to insertion of the tampon or similar device. In accordance with this embodiment of the present invention the rupturable capsule or membrane 9, can be formed of the same orv similar materials as previously set forth for the rupturable capsule shown in FIG. 2 which rupturable capsule is ruptured by the exertion of mechanical pressure by the pulling of the string attached to the membrane or capsule. By the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the beneficial vitamin A is dispersed within the fibrous matrix by squeezing the tampon immediately before insertion. In this manner, the rupturable membrane, or capsule breaks and the vitamin A is dispersed in liquid form within the fibrous matrix so that it can be easily and readily administered to the areas of the vagina and vulva to be treated.

While the rupturable capsules or membranes 9 as shown in FIG. 3 are located near one end of the tampon or similar device, it is of course, obvious that one or more rupturable capsules or membranes 9 can be located anywhere within the tampon body. In this respect, some outer marking, e.g., coloration on the wrapper of the tampon can be used to indicate at what point slight pressure should be exerted so as to effect the rupturing of the capsules or membranes 9 so as to release the beneficial vitamin A.

In this embodiment again, the vitamin A need only be employed in that amount necessary to supply its beneficial affect to the vagina, vulva and related areas so as to prevent or treat those disorders associated with menses, pregnancy, etc. Again, an amount of from 0.01 to about 10% by weight of the tampon or similar article is generally effective for this purpose although lesser or greater amounts can be employed where desired.

A further embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 4. This embodiment again shows a conventional tampon 1 having an outer paper or cellulosic wrapper 3 and an inner cellulosic matrix 5. Within the cellulosic matrix 5 of the tampon 1 are located tiny microencapsulated droplets or aerosol 19 of vitamin A. Thus, this embodiment of the invention utilizes tiny microencapsulated droplets of vitamin A in lieu of one or more larger rupturable membranes or capsules located within the matrix of the tampon 1. These tiny microencapsulated droplets of vitamin A located within the matrix 5 of the tampon 1 are susceptible to rupturing by the exertion of slight pressure and thus, as was the case with the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, it is only necessary for the user to exert slight finger pressure prior to insertion in order to afiect the release of the valuable vitamin A. In accordance with this embodiment of the present invention the tiny encapsulated droplets of vitamin A can be uniformly or randomly dispersed throughout the matrix 5 of the tampon 1. If the encapsulated vitamin A is located in one portion of the tampon, it is preferable that the outer wrapper 3 be marked as by coloration so as to indicate at what portion the slight pressure should be exerted so as to release the valuable vitamin A.

Again, in this embodiment of the present invention the amount of vitamin A that is included within the microcapsules is that same amount as set forth above with respect to the employment of the larger rupturable capsules of FIGS. 2 and 3.

In addition to employing an aqueous or oil solution of vitamin A in accordance with this embodiment of the present invention, it is also possible to employ a solid form of vitamin A microencapsulated within the tampon. Thus, a suitable system can comprise powdered vitamin A in a conventional phosphate carrier.

A further embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 5. Here, instead of employing the vitamin A in the fibrous matrix 5 of the tampon 1, the vitamin A is present in the microcapsules 21 within the outer wrapper'3 of the tampon 1. In this way, while the microcapsules 21 can be ruptured by slight pressure prior to use as indicated with the embodiments presented previously, it is also an important feature of this embodiment of the present invention that the microcapsules 21 of vitamin A can be ruptured merely by the heat of the body adjacent the vaginal tampon. Here, again the amount of vitamin A employed is as set forth above. Again, a solid vitamin A system can be suitably utilized.

Similarly, while this embodiment illustrates the microcapsules of vitamin A within the outer wrapper 3 of the tampon, the same effect of rupturing by body heat can be achieved by incorporating the microcapsules of vitamin A in the fibrous matrix close to the outer portion thereof.

While FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate the employment of vitamin A in accordance with the present invention in a conventional vaginal tampon, it is also contemplated to employ vitamin A in combination with an extremely worn sanitary napkin. When the vitamin A is incorporated within the matrix of the napkin either as tiny droplets or in a rupturable capsule, such vitamin A can have its therapeutic value when a napkin is in contact with the external genitalia. This is extremely useful in cases Where the external genitalia are easily irritated or subject to minor infections. In this way, the vitamin A can be absorbed into the mucus membranes of the vagina and vulva as is capable with the employment of a vaginal tampon. The tampon or similar article therefore acts as a douche in its administration of vitamin A, etc.

While the present invention has been described primarily to the employment of vitamin A in a vaginal tampon, sanitary napkin, or similar article, it should be understood that the present invention can also include the incorporation of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients, alone or in combination with vitamin A, which can be administered to the mucus membranes of the vagina area. Additionally, other ingredients, such as antioxidants, stabilizers, surface active agents, deodorants, etc., can be conventionally employed in the tampon, sanitary napkin or similar article in accordance with the present invention. In this respect, it is sometimes advantageous to employ a stabilizer in conjunction with vitamin A so as to stabilize such material against unwanted deterioration before use.

Such unwanted deterioration may be present due to the effect of heat, air and/or light. Suitable stabilizing agents or; antioxidants which can be employed in accordance with the present invention include, for example, the phenolic antioxidants, e.g., alkyl phenols, alkyl bisphenols, bisphenol sulfides, quinones, such as hydroquinone, antraquinone, naphthaquinone and substituted derivatives thereof and heterocylic compounds such as pyridines, piperidienes, quinolines, etc. A particularly preferred stabilizer for vitamin A comprises ethoxyquin-l,2-dehydro-6-ethoxy- 2,2,4-trimethyl quinoline sold by Monsanto Chemical Company under the trademark Santoquin."

It has been found particularly advantageous in accordance with the present invention to include chlorophyll or a similar material within the vitamin A system. Such a material tends to eliminate any odors which may be present as a result of the menses or pregnancy discharge. Additionally, it has been found that a particularly advantageous combination of ingredients comprises vitamin A in combination with an estrogenic substance. Thus, for example, a suitable system to be employed in accordance with the present invention comprises vitamin A and a material such as estradiol, estrone or the conjugated estrogens produced from the urine of pregnant mares. Because of the water solubility of such conjugated estrogens, such estrogenic substances can be conveniently employed in the water solution of vitamin A, preferably employed in accordance with the present invention. The estrogenic material if employed in combination with vitamin A in accordance with the present invention, tends to promote the beneficial effect of the vitamin A. In addition, the employment of the estrogenic material is beneficial in helping to supply the physiological balance of hormones produced by the normal ovary. This material is generally employed in approximately equal amounts with the vitamin A present within the sanitary napkin, vaginal tampon, etc.

The present invention, therefore, provides a new and novel tampon, sanitary napkin, or similar article containing a minor amount of vitamin A. The present invention also, however, comprises a method of administering vitamin A and other vitamins, minerals and nutrients to the vaginal area so as to prevent or treat various disorders associated with menses, pregnancy, etc.

The articles of the present invention wherein the vitamin A is microencapsulated or included within one or more rupturable capsules or membranes, provide a great improvement over the mere inclusion of a valuable substance within the matrix of a tampon or similar article. Thus, by including the vitamin A Within the microcapsules or rupturable capsules or membranes the vitamin A is protected until use from any harmful effects associated with heat, light or other atmospheric conditions.

While the present invention has been specifically described by reference to the accompanying drawings, it should be understood that the present invention is in no way to be deemed as limited thereto, but should be construed as broadly as all or any equivalents thereof.

I claim:

1. A compressed vaginal tampon or sanitary napkin adapted to be inserted within or applied adjacent to the vaginal cavity under normal conditions of use and capable of increasing the integrity of the epithelial lining of the vaginal cavity, said compressed vaginal tampon or sanitary napkin comprising an outer wrapper and a matrix of compressed absorbent fibers within said outer wrapper, and containing, dispersed in said matrix of compressed absorbent fibers or outer wrapper, a minor amount of vitamin A encapsulated alone or in the form of an aqueous or mineral oil solution of the active vitamin.

2. A compressed vaginal tampon or sanitary nap-kin adapted to be inserted within or applied adjacent to the vaginal cavity under normal conditions of use and capable V 8 of increasing the integrity of the epithelial lining of the 3,091,241 5/1963 Kellett 424-28 vaginal cavity, said compressed vaginal tampon or sani- 3,137,631 6/1964 Soloway 42428 tary napkin comprising an outer Wrapper and a matrix of compressed absorbent fibers within said outer wrapper, FOREIGN and containing, dispersed in said matrix of compressed 5 735,370 3/ 9 Great Britainabsorbent fibers or outer Wrapper, a minor amount of 765,457 1957 Great Brltaln.

vitamin A in solid form.

ADELE M. EAGER, Prlrnary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

References Cited 2,579,403 12/1951 SlomOWitZ et a]. 128270 2,841,529 7/1958 Schmidt et a1. 42428

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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/286
International ClassificationA61L15/42, A61L15/20, A61K9/00, A61L15/16, A61K31/59, A61F13/20
Cooperative ClassificationA61K31/59, A61L15/42, A61K9/0036, A61L15/20, A61F13/34, A61F13/2051
European ClassificationA61L15/20, A61K31/59, A61F13/20C, A61L15/42, A61K9/00M8B, A61F13/34