|Publication number||US3783867 A|
|Publication date||Jan 8, 1974|
|Filing date||Dec 7, 1970|
|Priority date||Dec 7, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3783867 A, US 3783867A, US-A-3783867, US3783867 A, US3783867A|
|Inventors||Nagel D, Summersby E|
|Original Assignee||Beverly Enterprises|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (19), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,783,867 Summersby et a1. Jan. 8, 1974  WOMAN'S HYGIENE APPARATUS 3,500,824 3/1970 Gilbert 128/66 [151 1 Sim-marshy, hawndale; 512321212 Z1313 5322851213.... 1311521321 52 Dletmal' N388], Redondo Beach, 3,044,465 7/1962 Anderson et a1. 128/230 both of Calif. 3,225,759 12/1965 Drapen et a1. 128/66 3,453,969 7/1969 Mattirlgly 128/66 X  Asslgnee. ggiefrly Enterpl'lses, Pasadena CIIY 3,200,756 8/1965 Ratliff, Jr 418/266 x  Filed: Dec. 7, 1970 Primary E.xaminer-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko (Under Rule 47) Attorney-William A. Kemmel, Jr.  Appl. No.: 95,524
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl 128/230, 128/66, 128/251, A womans hygiene apparatus having a fluid con- 418/266 tainer, nozzle, pump, and motor. The nozzle has a ho]-  Int. Cl A6lm 1/00 low ubular structure with a number of perforations at  Field of Search 128/230, 251, 66, its extended end. The-pump contains a pressure relief 128/229, 224, 239; 418/266 mechanism to limit the maximum pressure output of t the pump, so that a user cannot inadvertently exceed  References Cited the medically determined maximum pressure and UNITED STATES PATENTS thereby cause "w 3,467,083 8/1969 Mattingly 128/66 3 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 WOMAN'S HYGIENE APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an economical, easily operated vaginal cleansing device, comprising a casing; a container adapted to contain a quantity of water mounted to said casing, said container having a valve, means connected to said casing for opening said valve of said container; a motor disposed within and connected to said casing; a pump disposed within and connected to said casing to provide a pulsating discharge; means connected to'said motor and said pump for transmitting rotational energy from said motor to said pump; means for communicating said valve and said pump for transmitting a fluid; an elongated nozzle for directing said pulsating discharge; a flexible conduit connected to said pump and said nozzle for transmitting said fluid; and reservoir means communicating with said nozzle for supplyinga cleanser to said nozzle to mix with said fluid from said container. As a subcombination the present invention also includes a pump having a pressure release mechanism and being adapted to have a pulsating fluid discharge comprising a generally tubular housing having a central longitudinal axis, said housing also having an input port and an output port; a rotor position within and extending essentially the length of said housing and having a central longitudinal axis parallel to and spaced from the central longitudinal axis of said housing, said rotor and said housing being relatively rotatable, said rotor having a longitudinally extending slot, and said rotor having an outer surface spaced at a predetermined minimum distance from the inner surface of said tubular housing; a vane positioned within said slot and biased to extend away from said rotor to contact said inner surface of said tubular housing; and a spring disposed within said slot for biasing said vane.
An object of the present invention is to provide an economical cleansing device which is easy to operate and which will not harm the delicate vaginal tissues.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a pump which has maximum output pressure limitation mechanism.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a hygiene apparatus.
FIG. 2 is a partially exploded perspective view of the pump of the hygiene apparatus.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the pump.
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic sectional view of the pump of FIG. 2 illustrating one position of the rotor during a cycle of operation of the pump.
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic sectional view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating a position of the rotor disposed from the FIG. 4 position.
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic sectional view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating a position of the rotor disposed from the FIG. 4 position.
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic sectional view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating a position of the rotor disposed 270 from the FIG. 4 position.
FIG. 8 is a graphic display of pump characteristics where rotational distance is plotted along the abscissa and output pressure is plotted along the ordinate.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated the hygiene apparatus 10 which comprises a casing 12 of a molded synthetic resin material, such as polyvinyl chloride, within which is mounted a small electric motor 14 and a pump 16. The electric motor may be of any suitable type, such as model No. FT 362880 sold by Marbuchi of Japan. The motor 14 is operated by standard on-off switch 18, which extends outside the casing 12 and causes the actuation of the hygiene apparatus. The pump 16 has an input port 20, an output port 22, FIG. 2, and a driven shaft 24 which is connected to a driving-shaft 26 of the motor 14 through a reduction gear unit 28. As presently contemplated, the motor 14 will operate at approximately 1,100 rpm, while the pump, which will be more fully described hereinbelow, will operate at approximately 350 rpm to 450 rpm so that the reduction gear unit 28 has a reduction ratio of about 3 to I.
The motor 14 may be operated by ordinary household electrical current so as to require an electrical cord connected to the motor at one end and having the usual two-prong male connector at the other end (not shown), or the motor may be operated from a battery 30 which may be of the rechargeable nickel-cadmium type. Such batteries have a predictable power output for a predetermined period of time and may be recharged by simply making proper connection with the household electrical supply.
Mounted to the upper end of the casing 12 is a container 32 which is adapted to hold a predetermined quantity of a fluid, such as water. The container 32 has a lid 34 mounted at its upper end and a valve 36 mounted within its bottom surface. A tube 38 connects the valve 36 and the input port 20 of the pump 16 so as to communicate the water contained within the container 32 to the pump. The valve 36 is of the type which will be forced closed when water occupies the container because of the pressure exerted by the water on the valve head. However, the casing is provided with a surface which will provide an upward biasing force to open the valve when the container is mounted to the casing.
The hygiene apparatus includes an elongated nozzle 40 for insertion into a users vagina which will direct the pulsating discharge from the pump. The nozzle 40 is a hollow tubular structure and includes a number of perforations 42 at its extended end. Communicating the nozzle with the output port 22 of the pump is a flexible conduit 44, such as a suitable synthetic resin hose. Also, connected to the nozzle 40 is a reservoir 46 which may contain a cleansing fluid or solid and which is structured to allow a metered amount of the cleanser to be mixed with the water pumped through the flexible conduit 44 so that the product being emitted from the perforations 42 will be a liquid cleansing solution. It is, of course, understood that the particular cleanser used does not bear upon the principal structure of the invention herein, and therefore does not limit the invention herein. The metered mixing of the cleansing fluid and the water, for example, may be accomplished by providing an orifice of predetermined size in the reservoir 46 which is expoded to a region of low pressure created by the velocity of the water passing through the conduit 44 and the nozzle. The low pressure causes the cleansing fluid to be sucked through the orifice to be mixed with the stream of water. The amount of cleansing fluid which moves through the orifice is in part a function of the velocity of the water stream and the size of the orifree and may be determined empirically or theoretically.
In operation the user fills the container and the reservoir, attaches the nozzle 40 to an end of the flexible conduit 44, inserts the nozzle into the vagina, adjusting so as to have the nozzle assume a comfortable position, and then moves the switch 18 to the on position. The
' motor will drive the pump 16 through the reduction gear unit 28 so as to draw water from the container 32 through the input port 20 and discharge a pulsating stream of water through the output port 22. As the stream of water passes the reservoir 46, it draws out a predetermined amount of cleanser which mixes with the water in the nozzle and which is finally emitted through the perforations 42 at the nozzle end. Operation will continue until the water within the container is dissipated, at which time the switch is moved to the off position. The nozzle is removed from the user, and then removed from the end of the flexible conduit 44, cleaned and stored with the remainder of the apparatus until its next use. It is expected that it may be convenient for the apparatus to be located in a semipermanent position, that is, left in a conspicuous position within the bathroom, for example; therefore, the casing 12 is designed with an aesthetically pleasing appearance. It is understood the casing, being of a molded synthetic resin, may have integrally molded internal mounting projections, flanges, and the like, which will be pre-engineered to accept specifically dimensioned components, such as the motor, the pump and the battery.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is illustrated in greater detail the pump 16 of the hygiene unit. The pump comprises a housing 50 having the input port 20 and the output port 22.,The housing is tubular in shape having a smooth inner surface 52 which has a generally circular cross section. A line 54 represents the central longitudinal axis of the tubular housing and will be referred to hereinbelow for reference purposes. Located within the interior of the tubular housing 50 is a rotor 56, having a generally cylindrical shape and extending substantially the length of the housing. A line 58 represents the central longitudinal axis of the rotor and is generally parallel to, but spaced from, the longitudinal axis 54 of the housing, the rotor being rotatable relative the housing about the longitudinal axis 58.
Because of the displacement of the central longitudinal axis of the rotor from the central longitudinal axis of the housing the region formed between an outer surface 60 of the rotor and the inner surface 52 of the housing assume a distorted tubular shape where the wall" of this tubular region has a varying thickness from a minimum distance designated 62 to a maximum distance designated 63. The minimum distance 62 is set at a predetermined value to provide a pressure relief mechanism by allowing leakage" of the water (or other fluid) within the housing.
The rotor 56 has a radial slot 64 extending the longitudinal length of the rotor to act as a guide to a sliding vane 66 located within the slot. The vane has one longitudinal edge 68 within the slot abutting a spring 70, while a second longitudinal edge 72 contacts the inner surface 52 of the housing 50. Because of the distorted shape of the region between the outer surface60 and the inner surface 52, rotation of the rotor causes the vane to sweep the inner surface 52 as well as experience a translational movement relative the slot 64. The spring 70 provides a sufficient biasing force on the vane so that the longitudinal edge 72 is always in contact with the inner surface 52. The spring may be of any convenient design and is shown as a small curved strip of material which may be of any convenient spring material, such as spring steel. The rotor is connected to the driven shaft 24 at one of its ends and to a journal 74 at its other end. The journal 74 is mateable with a bearing opening 76 in an end plate 78 which closes one end of the tubular housing 50, while a similarly designed end plate 79 having a properly sealed opening 77 to accommodate the shaft 24 closes the opposite end of the housing.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 8, there follows an explanation of the operation of the pump 16. For later reference purposes two lines 80 and 82 are drawn through the mid-points of the ports 20 and 22, respectively, and intersect at the longitudinal axis 54 to form an angle with the axis 54 as the vertex; the angle is Iabeled theta, 0. It is noted that the position of the minimum distance 62 is located within the region subtended by the angle. It has been found desirable that a womans hygiene apparatus have a pulsating discharge characteristic; that is, there should be a pressure variation during the pumping cycle. At the same time it has been found that there is a requirement of some mechanism to limit the maximum output pressure during the pumping cycle to prevent accidental damage to the body tissue subjected to the output pressure. As mentioned hereinabove, the minimum distance 62 provides the mechanism for limiting the pressure; the angular distance separating the input port 20 from the output port 22 determines the output pressure characteristic. For example, when the angle 6 between the ports is symmetrical about the minimum spacing 62, then an output pressure characteristic curve 84, FIG. 8, is achieved where line 86, FIG. 4, is the zero reference line. As the rotor 56 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, there will be little or no pressure at the output port between 0 and 60 and 300 and 360. Thus, the pump has a discharge-no discharge characteristic dependent upon the'angular distance between the ports, where there will be no discharge when the vane is in the region subtended by the angle 0, and there will be a discharge when the vane sweeps the remainder of the spacing between the outer surface 60 and the inner surface 52.
Referring in sequence to FIGS. 4 through 7 and with reference to the curve 84, FIG. 8, there is illustrated one complete cycle of operation and the variation in pressure of the output.
When the rotor is in the position shown in FIG. 4 with the vane 66 coincident with the reference line 86,.the spacing between the outer surface 60 and the inner surface 52 in the region 88 outside that subtended by the angle 6 is filled with the water from the container 32 which has entered through the port 20. As the rotor rotates in a counterclockwise direction, the vane be comes more extended, as shown in FIG. 5, where the vane is displaced 90, and the fluid within the region 88 is pushed through the output port 22. Concurrently, there is a complementary rise in the output pressure. As the rotor continues rotation and the vane becomes fully extended, such as shown in FIG. 6, where the vane is displaced 180 from line 86, maximum pressure is reached. Further rotation causes the vane to retract, as shown in FIG. 7, where the vane is displaced 270 from the line 86, with a corresponding drop in output pressure. Once the vane passes the output port, discharge ceases until the vane passes the input port in its next cycle. Of course, once the vane passes the input port, as shown in FIG. 5, more water is supplied behind the moving vane into the region which is designated 90 so that the vane may move against this water during its next cycle.
Referring again to FIG. 6, it is to be noted that the water within the region 88 has two paths of exit, one through the output port 22 and the other through the spacing 62. Once the diameter of the housing, the diameter of the rotor, the dimension of the ports, and the rotational speed ofthe rotor are fixed, the spacing 62 may be calculated so as to relieve the pressure at the output port 22 above a predetermined upper limit. This upper limit is designated by a horizontal line 92, parallel to the abscissa in the graph, FIG. 8. Because the spacing 62 is part of the basic structure of the pump, once the pump is built the pressure relief mechanism becomes an inherent characteristic of the pump. Hence, a major advantage is achieved because the pressure relief mechanism is fool-safe; it cannot be changed without destroying the functioning of the pump. Therefore, a user cannot inadvertently exceed the medically determined maximum pressure and cause injury. A still further advantage of the pump is that the pressure relief spacing 62 can never become clogged because in the operation of the pump the vane 66 sweeps the spacing every cycle.
It is understood that changing the rpm of the rotor, the size of the output port or the size of the spacing 62 will change the pressure characteristic curve 84 from that shown in FIG. 8. Additionally, because of the pumps basic design, it is easy to change the structure slightly to achieve a different characteristic curve. For example, simply by changing the location of the input or output ports to a new location, such as shown with input port 20a, FIGS. 4 through 7, drawn in phantom, which is at a location approximately l20 in a counterclockwise direction from the reference line 86, a new characteristic curve 94 is achieved. With the new embodiment the no discharge portion of the cycle extends between 0 and 120 and between 300 and 360, while the maximum pressure reach would be somewhat less than the first curve 84 since there would be less water moved per cycle. (The output port 22 has remained in its same location, about 300 from line 86.) In a similar fashion, if only the output port were relocated, such as output port 22a, drawn in phantom, (the input port 20 remains in its location of about 60 from line 86) then the pressure characteristic would assume the curve 96 which has a no discharge cycle portion between 0 and 60 and between 240 and 360.
While the above discussion dwells on the use of the pump 16 for the womans hygiene apparatus shown, it is to be understood that other uses are contemplated wherever it is found desirable to have a gentle pulsating discharge.
What is described hereinabove is a hygiene apparatus for the cleansing of the vaginal canal, which will provide a gently pulsating stream of water where the maximum pressure at the nozzle will never exceed a predetermined maximum to insure against injury. In one such pump having an inner surface 52 diameter of 0.650 inch, a rotor 56 diameter of 0.500 inch, and a spacing 62 of 0.002 inch, at 350 rpm, 3 pounds per square inch pressure was generated. It is, of course, understood that changes in form and dimension may be accomplished without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention herein. It is additionally understood that the pressure characteristic curve, as displayed in FIG. 8, may be altered in any desired way based on the teachings herein.
1. A'womans hygiene apparatus comprising:
a. a fluid container; 7
b. a nozzle having a hollow tubular structure with a number of perforations at its extended end;
c. a pump having a pulsating discharge characteristic, and also having a mechanism to limit the maximum output pressure during the pumping cycle to prevent accidental damage to the body tissue, said pump being a rotary pump having (1) a cylindrical chamber with circumferentially separated input and output ports, (2) a rotor eccentrically mounted in said chamber and having a predetermined minimum spacing from the chamber wall between said ports on one side of said chamber, (3) an elongated vane supported in a longitudinal slot in said rotor, and (4) spring means in said slot urging said vane against the chamber wall; said minimum spacing serving to limit the maximum output pressure developed by said pump by allowing substantial leakpounds per square inch.
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|U.S. Classification||604/118, 418/266, 601/160, 604/151|
|International Classification||A61M3/00, A61M3/02|