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Publication numberUS3683904 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateOct 5, 1970
Priority dateOct 5, 1970
Also published asCA970641A1
Publication numberUS 3683904 A, US 3683904A, US-A-3683904, US3683904 A, US3683904A
InventorsForster Howard B
Original AssigneeForster Howard B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pessaries
US 3683904 A
Abstract
A pessary intended for insertion in the vaginal passage of a human female is formed with a resiliently flexible forward end wall which effectively closes the vaginal passage anteriorly of the cervix uteri so as to restrict movement of spermatozoa thereto. A projection is formed on the forward surface of the forward end wall of the pessary for disposition in the posterior fornix of the vaginal passage and abutment with the cervix uteri to stabilize the pessary against angular displacement during coitus. The forward projection is usefully formed with an internal compartment for containing a spermicidal fluid material and a passage communicating with that compartment opens, when the pessary is correctly positioned in the vaginal passage, in general apposition to the cervix uteri. In such a construction, the forward end wall of the pessary partially defines the compartment so that, during coitus, flexure of the forward end wall causes discharge of the spermicidal fluid material from the compartment about the cervix uteri, so further reducing the risk of live sperm reaching the uterus.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Forster [54] PESSARIES [72] Inventor: Howard B. Forster, 35 Thornclifie Park Dr., Toronto, Ontario, Canada [22] Filed: Oct. 5, 1970 i [21] Appl.No.: 77,895

Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerG. F. Dunne Attorney-W. Britton Moore I [451 Aug. 15, 1972 l 5 7] ABSTRACT A pessary intended for insertion in the vaginal passage of a human female is formed with a resiliently flexible forward end wall which effectively closes the vaginal passage anteriorly of the cervix uteri so as to restrict movement of spermatozoa thereto. A projection is fomied on the forward surface of the forward end wall of the pessary for disposition in the posterior fornix of the vaginal passage and abutment with the cervix uteri to stabilize the pessary against angular displacement during coitus. The forward projection is usefully formed with an internal compartment for containing a spermicidal fluid material and a passage communicating with that compartment opens, when the pessaryis correctly positioned in the vaginal passage, in general apposition to the cervix uteri. In such a construction, the forward end wall of the pessary partially defines the compartment so that, during coitus, flexure of the forward end wall causes discharge of the spermicidal fluid material from the compartment about the cervix uteri, so further reducing the :risk of live sperm reaching the uterus.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUB 1 5 m2 SL683 904 INVENTOR HOWARD a FORSTER ATTORNEY PESSARIES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A The present invention relates generally to pessaries and more particularly to a contraceptive pessary intended for insertion into the vaginal passage of a human female for the purpose of reducing the risk of the entry of live spermatozoa into the uterus and the consequent risk of conception.

Mechanical devices having a contraceptive function as presently available can be classified into the following types: intra-uterine devices which are intended to be inserted completely into the uterine cavity; uterine stems and rings which are intended to be inserted partially into the cervix uteri so as to plug the external 05 uteri; cervical caps which are fitted externally over the portio vaginalis; vaginal caps which include fluidimperrneable diaphragms which cover the cervix uteri and extend from the posterior fornix of the vaginal passage to a position immediately behind the symphysis; barrier materials such as foams which are packed in the posterior end of the vaginal passage to prevent the access to the cervix uteri of spermatozoa; and condoms worn by the male party to coitus.

With the ever-increasing public and professional apprehension concerning the safety of the presently available hormone medications intended for modifying a womans hormone balance for the purpose in turn of preventing conception, interest has been re-aroused in the use of mechanical contraceptive devices.

All the presently available mechanical contraceptive devices fall short, however, of optimum fulfillment of the practical requirements for such a device. Some known contraceptive devices have proved to have a low practical effectiveness for preventing conception while others cannot be used by women with anatomical irregularities. For example, vaginal diaphragms are generally contra-indicated for women having damaged or relaxed pelvic floors since such a condition prevents the front rim of such apessary being seated satisfactori ly beneath the symphysis. Additionally, reports have been made of infection or irritation resulting from the use of intra-uterine devices and of the presently available intra-uterine stems and rings. Other disadvantages of some of the known contraceptive devices are that they are difficult or awkward to fit and consequently their use is frequently less effective than is theoretically possible, resulting, for example, from unsatisfactory fitting or use of such devices by women.

It is accordingly an important object of this invention to provide a pessary and more particularly a pessary intended for use as a contraceptive device and which pessary is not only simple in its construction but is also easily fitted within the vaginal passage of a human female and easily removed therefrom when so required.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a contraceptive pessary which is intended for insertion into the vaginal passage of a human female without requiring any insertion, even partial, into the external os uteri, let alone into the uterus itself, so as to present little danger of uterine infection.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a contraceptive pessary which is easily fitted into the vaginal passage of a human female and which can be used even in the event of the presence of anatomical 2 variations or irregularities in that vaginal passage or even in the event of some degree of misplacement of the uterus.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a contraceptive pessary which is intended to be disposed within the vaginal passage of a human female and which is provided with means for preventing angular displacement of the pessary during coitus.

In accordance with another feature of this invention, it is an object thereof to provide a contraceptive pessary which not only provides a barrier to the movement of spermatozoa into the area of the cervix uteri but which is also adapted to distribute a spermicidal material about the cervix uteri during coitus with further reduction in the risk of conception.

Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description herein proceeds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION More broadly, the present invention provides a pessary for insertion into and disposition in a vaginal passage of a human female and which pessary comprises a fluid-impermeable cup including a forwardly facing forward end surface, peripheral sealing means on that cup for snug engagement with the internal wall of such a vaginal passage for the purpose of restricting the movement of spermatozoa forwardly therepast, and a projection provided on the forwardly facing forward end surface of the cup integrally therewith and extending forwardly therefrom for disposition in the posterior fomix of the vaginal passage and into general apposition to the cervix uteri so as to prevent angular displacement of the pessary during coitus.

In accordance with a particularly useful feature of this invention, a pessary in accordance therewith includes a forwardly convex forward end wall which terminates peripherally and rearwardly in a resiliently outwardly urged first annular lip for snug engagement with the internal wall of the vaginal passage, and a rearwardly and outwardly diverging cuff integrally formed with the forward end wall of the cup and terminating rearwardly in a resiliently outwardly urged second annular lip for snug engagement with the interior wall of the vaginal passage, the second annular lip being spaced apart rearwardly from the first annular lip and together therewith defining a generally cylindrical locus.

In accordance with yet another useful feature of this invention, a pessary in accordance therewith is usefully provided with a pressure-actuated fluid-retaining and discharging means disposed forwardly of its fluid-impermeable cup. In such a construction, the fluid-impermeable cup includes a resiliently flexible forward end wall operatively associated with the fluid-retaining and discharging means so that penile thrust against the forward end wall of that cup during coitus causes flexing of that forward end wall and, in turn, actuation of the fluid-retaining and discharging means to cause discharge of fluid material, such as a spermicidal material, thereby.

Such a spermicidal compartment in a pessary of this invention is advantageously defined in part by the forward end wall of the fluid-impermeable cup and includes an opening in fluid communication with the interior of the compartment for the discharge of fluid material therefrom so that the flexing of the forward end wall of the cup by penile thrust during coitus causes variation in the volume of the compartment and the discharge of spermicidal fluid material therefrom. By providing such an opening so that, when the pessary is correctly positioned in the vaginal passage of a human female, that opening is disposed in general apposition to the cervix uteri, the spermicidal material contained in the compartment is discharged about the cervix uteri, so further reducing the risk of conception.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description herein proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will now be described merely by way of illustration with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a pessary in accordance with this invention showing certain parts fragmentarily to reveal its internal structure in greater detail; v

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view through the pessary of FIG. 1 when viewed as indicated by the arrows 22 of that figure;

FIG. 3 is a rearward end elevation of the pessary of FIGS. 1 and 2 when viewed as indicated by the arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an anterior-posterior sectional view showing the pessary of FIGS. 1 to 3 in position in the vaginal passage of a human female and illustrating the manner of operation of that pessary during coitus;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 4 and illustrating the manipulative procedure used to effect removal of the pessary from the vaginal passage; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 but showing an alternative construction for a pessary in accordance with this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The pessary generally indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1 to 3 of the accompanying drawings comprises a unitary moulded structure, for example, of an elastomer, such as rubber, and including a fluid-impermeable cup generally indicated at 1 1. The cup 1 l in turn comprises a forwardly directed convex forward end wall 12 having a forward end surface 13 and an inner surface 14. Integrally formed with the end wall 12 is a skirt or cuff generally indicated at 15.

It will be seen by particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings that the forward end wall 13 terminates rearwardly in a generally annular first peripheral lip 16 having a generally circular configuration and which is urged resiliently outwardly by the inherent resilience of the material from which it is made. The cuff 15 terminates rearwardly in a generally annular second peripheral lip 17 which is spaced apart rearwardly from the first peripheral lip 16 and which is also urged resiliently outwardly by virtue of the inherent resilience of the material from which it is formed. The cuff 15 converges inwardly and forwardly and is integrally formed at its forward end with the forward end wall 13 directly therewith about a generally semicircular posterior portion thereof as indicated at 20. About its generally semicircular anterior portion,

cylindrical the cuff 15 is secured to the forward end wall 13 by a forwardly and inwardly converging generally semiconical web 22.

The first and second peripheral lips 16 and 17 respectively are disposed and dimensioned so that together they define a generally cylindrical locus as indicated by the lines AA and B-B in FIG. 2 of the accompanying drawings, the longitudinal axis of that locus being indicated at CC in FIG. 2 The generally locus already identified corresponds generally to the internal wall of the vaginal passage of a human female when the pessary 10 is correctly positioned in such a passage. For a reason which will become apparent as the description herein proceeds, each of the generally annular lips 16 and 17 is disposed obliquely with respect to the aforementioned longitudinal axis CC so as to extend rearwardly relatively thereto from its posterior limit to its anterior limit. The reason for such oblique disposition of the lips 16 and 17 will be more readily understood when the manner in which the pessary 10 is used is described in greater detail hereinafter.

It should perhaps, however, be explained at this juncture that, when reference is made herein to anterior and posterior positions, such references are intended to identify those positions on the pessary 10 which are disposed in opposition to the anterior and posterior walls of the vaginal passage in which the pessary is positioned when it is positioned in such a passage in the intended manner. Referring to FIG. 2 of the accompanying drawings, it will now be understood that the upper portion of the pessary 10 shown therein constitutes the anterior portion while the lower portion constitutes the posterior portion.

It should also be noted that the inner surface 24 of the cuff 15 about its generally semicircular posterior portion is disposed generally parallel to the longitudinal axis CC while the inner surface 25 of the cuff 15 about its generally semicircular anterior portion is disposed obliquely with respect to that axis.

Integrally formed with the forward end wall 13 of the pessary 10, there is provided a projection generally indicated at 26 and which functions. to stabilize the position of the pessary 10 when the latter is correctly positioned in a vaginal passage in turn to prevent angular displacement of the pessary during coitus and as will be explained in greater detail hereinafter with reference to FIG. 4 of the accompanying drawings. For this purpose, the projection 26 extends generally forwardly from the forward end wall 13 in a direction generally parallel to the aforementioned longitudinal axis CC and is radially offset in the posterior direction relative to that axis.

In accordance with a particularly useful feature of this invention, the projection 26 also functions as a fluid-retaining and discharging means. For this purpose, the projection 26 includes a chamber wall generally indicated at 27 and having a generally cuspate nipple-shaped configuration. About its posterior portion, the wall 27 is rounded and forms a generally forward and inwardly converging extension 28 of the cuff 15.

In its upper or anterior portion, the wall 27 has an outer surface 29 and is provided with an opening 30 in fluid communication with a compartment indicated at 31 and which is defined both by the wall 27 and by a portion of the forward wall 13 of the cup 11.

Having completed the description herein of the structure of the pessary 10, the manner in which that pessary is used will now be explained with particular reference to FIG. 4 of the accompanying drawings.

Prior to coitus, the pessary is inserted into-the vaginal passage generally indicated at 34 in FIG. 4 so that the projection 26 extends into the posterior fornix 35 of the vaginal passage 34 with the opening 30 in general apposition to the portio vaginalis 36. During such insertion, the lips 16 and 17 of the pessary 10 are flexed inwardly and, when the pessary has been completely and properly inserted, such lips flex outwardly into snug engagement with the internal wall of the vaginal passage 34 so significantly to restrict the movement of spermatozoa forwardly therepast. During coitus, the inner sloping surface 25 of the anterior portion of the cuff engages the. anterior surface 37 of the glans penis 38 so as to guide the penis 39 into alignment with the vaginal passage 34 and to ensure that the direction of penile thrust is generally along the longitudinal axis of the vaginal passage 34. The disposition of the projection 26 in the posterior fornix of the vaginal passage 34 and the abutment of the anterior surface 29 of the projection 26 generally against the portio vaginalis 36 is important in ensuring positional stabilization of the pessary 10 during coitus. Such stabilization is also improved by the described arrangement of the lips 16 and 17. It will be understood that, prior to its insertion into the vaginal passage 34, the outer surface of the pessary 10 will usually be coated with a suitable lubricant material which will also usefully be a material which has spermicidal properties.

When, as hereinbefore described, the projection 26 is provided with the internal compartment 31, a sper micidal cream or other fluid material can be introduced into that compartment 31 prior to the insertion of the pessary 10 into the vaginal passage 34. In such a case, penile thrust against the interior surface 14 of the forward end wall 13 of the pessary 10 causes flexing of that end wall with consequent variation in the volume of the compartment 31. This leads in turn to the discharge of the spermicidalmaterial from within the compartment 31 about the cervix uteri thereby further reducing the risk of undesired movement of live spermatozoa into the uterus.

The manner in which the pessary 10 is removed from a vaginal passage will be easily understood by reference to FIG. 5 of the accompanying drawings. From that figure, it will be seen that a finger may be inserted into the vaginal passage 34 so as to grip the forward end of the anterior portion of the cuff 15 to permit simple withdrawal of the pessary 10 from the vaginal passage 34.

Referring now to FIG. 6 of the accompanying drawings, there is shown therein generally at 40, a pessary having many structural features in common with the pessary 10 already described herein. The pessary 40 differs from the pessary l0 simply in that its forward end wall 41 is provided on its inner surface 42 with a resilient padding material 43, for example, of foamed or sponge rubber. The purpose of the padding 43 is to soften the impact of the wall 42 on the glans penis 38 during coitus, thereby to reduce the extent of the male's tactile awareness of the presence of the pessary in his partners vaginal passage.

What is claimed is:

l. A pessary for insertion into and disposition in a vaginal passage of a human female and which pessary comprises a fluid-impermeable cup including a forwardly convex forward end wall having a forwardly facing forward end surface and terminating peripherally and rearwardly in a resiliently outwardly urged first annular lip and a rearwardly and outwardly diverging cuff terminating rearwardly in a resiliently outwardly urged second annular lip and integrally formed essentially completely thereabout with said forward end wall to provide an obliquely disposed inner surface of said cuff about a generally semi-conical anterior portion thereof, said second annular lip being spaced apart rearwardly from said first annular lip and together therewith defining a generally cylindrical locus and each of said first and second annular lips being disposed obliquely with respect to the longitudinal axis of said generally cylindrical locus to extend rearwardly from its posterior limit to its anterior limit, and a projection on said forward end wall and extending forwardly therefrom in a direction generally parallel to said. longitudinal axis and being transversely offset with respect thereto whereby, when said pessary is correctly disposed in a vaginal passage with said first and second annular lips thereof in snug engagement with the interior wall of the vaginal passage, said projection is disposed in the posterior fornix of the vaginal passage and in general apposition to the cervix uteri so as to prevent angular displacement of said pessary during coitus and whereby said obliquely disposed inner surface of said cuff is operative to engage the anterior surface of a glans penis in turn to guide the penis during coitus so that it is disposed generally parallel to said longitudinal axis of said generally cylindrical locus.

2. A pessary as claimed in claim 1 which additionally comprises a pressure-actuated fluid-retaining and discharging means disposed forwardly of said forward end wall of said fluid-impermeable cup and in which said forward end wall is resiliently flexible and is operatively associated with said fluid-retaining and discharging means so that penile thrust against said forward end wall during coitus causes flexing of saidv forward end wall and, in turn, actuation of said fluid-retaining and discharging means to cause discharge of fluid material thereby.

3. A pessary as claimed in claim 2 in which said projection includes at least one compartment defined in part bysaid forward end wall of said fluid-impermeable cup and constituting said fluid-retaining and discharging means, said projection including an opening in fluid communication with the interior of said compartment for the discharge of fluid material therefrom whereby said flexing of said forward end wall of said cup by penile thrust during coitus causes variation in the volume of said compartment and the discharge of fluid material therefrom.

4. A pessary as claimed in claim 3 which said opening in said projection is disposed so as to be in general apposition to .the cervix uteri when said pessary is itself correctly positioned in the vaginal passage of a human female.

5. A pessary as claimed in claim 4 in which said projection includes a generally culspate nipple-shaped compartment wall integral with said forward end wall of said cup.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification128/834, 128/842, 604/57
International ClassificationA61F6/08
Cooperative ClassificationA61F6/08
European ClassificationA61F6/08