US 3828781 A
A method and apparatus whereby substantially all of the menstrual fluid incident to a normal monthly "period" may be removed in a small fraction of an hour. A simple plastic syringe is employed in combination with a valve to create a suction pump incapable of injecting air into the uterus. Such pump and an associated receptacle are connected to a semirigid plastic cannula having an outer diameter of about 4 mm, and such cannula is inserted through the undilated cervix. The cannula fits snugly into the cervical lumen so that the applied suction draws fluid out of the uterus. The menstrual extraction procedure is performed at the time when the normal monthly period starts, or is estimated to start.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Rothman 1 Aug. 13, 1974 METHOD FOR WITHDRAWING 1V1IEIIS'HR UAL FLUID  Inventor: Evelyn Lorraine Rothman, 2460 E.
Balfour Ave., Fullerton, Calif.
 Filed: Dec. 6, 1971  Appl. No.: 205,144
 1.1.5. C1. .L 128/278  Int. Cl A6lm 1/00  Field of Search 128/273278, 128/218, 221, 2 B, 350
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 986,263 3/1911 Bevill 128/276 1,520,795 12/1924 Barr 128/274 2,421,959 6/1947 Norris 128/278 3,230,949 1/1966 Rodriguez-Olleros 128/2 B 3,506,010 4/1970 Murr 128/276 3,542,024 11/1970 Burke 128/221 3,542,031 11/1970 Taylor 128/276 3,636,940 l/l972 Gravlee 128/278 3,661,144 5/1972 Jensen et a1. 128/276 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,496,026 8/1967 France 128/221 Primary Examiner-Charles F. Rosenbaum Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richard L. Gausewitz [5 7 ABSTRACT A method and apparatus whereby substantially all of the menstrual fluid incident to a normal monthly period may be removed in a small fraction of an hour. A simpleplastic syringe is employed in combination with a valve to create a suction pump incapable of injecting air into the uterus. Such pump and an associated receptacle are connected to a semirigid plastic cannula having an outer diameter of about 4 mm, and such cannula is inserted through the undilated cervix. The cannula fits snugly into the cervical lumen so that the applied suction draws fluid out of the uterus. The menstrual extraction procedure is performed at the time when the normal monthly period starts, or is estimated to start.
6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENIEU mm 31m SHEEI 1 BF 2 PATENM we 1 31924 SHEET 2 [IF 2 METHOD FOR WITHDRAWING MENSTRUAL FLUID BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to the field of methods and apparatus for taking care of monthly menstrual flow.
2. Description of Prior Art There are large numbers of absorbent products, containers, etc., for receiving the menstrual fluid which flows naturally from the uterus. However, applicant is not aware of any device or method intended to assist such flow and substitute therefor a method whereby the fluid is withdrawn quickly. The present method and apparatus eliminate the uncertainty, discomfort, disability, etc., inherent in a normal period of menstruation. The elimination of such problems is particularly important to active women who do not wish to be bothered with a -day flow period the starting date of which is uncertain, and which at best is a messy and uncomfortable nuisance.
The following patents do not, in'the opinion of applicant, relate to the volitional elimination of the normal menstrual flow; instead they show devices employed for other purposes: US. Pat. Nos. 972,878; 2,419,795; 2,464,933; 3,506,010; 3,527,203; and 3,542,031.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present method, the usual methods are used to estimate the onset of menstruation. On or about the estimated date, a semirigid plastic cannula the diameter of which is approximately 4 mm is introduced in the uterus. Such a cannula may be inserted without dilation of the cervix. Suction is then applied, and the tip of the cannula is rotated and otherwise manipulated to effect withdrawal of menstrual fluid. The procedure may cause the uterus to contract and thereby aid in the process by expelling fluid through the cannula.
Relative to the apparatus of the invention, a major problem related to the provision of a suction source which is-sufficiently economical for widespread use, yet is designed not to inject air (and possible sources of infection) into the uterus. The present invention employs a simple plastic syringe, and an associated two-way check valve, as a suction source which is so related to the cannula that only suction and not pressure may be applied.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view illustrating the apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the suction-producing device;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged isometric view of the distal region of the cannula; and
FIG. 4 is a schematic sectional view illustrating various positions of the cannula.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED 4 EMBODIMENT:
Referring first to FIG. 1, which shows the entire apparatus, a flexible plastic cannula is illustrated and is sufflciently long to be inserted into the full depth of the uterus while still being manipulated by the user. The outer diameter of the cannula is approximately 4 millimeters (mm), since this diameter permits insertion through an undilated cervix of a normal woman while still causing the wall of the cervix to engage the cannula.
The cannula is sufflciently flexible that it is not likely to perforate the uterus, yet sufficiently stiff that application of suction will not collapse the cannula and defeat the process.
As best shown in FIG. 3, the distal portion of the cannula 10 has a closed end 11 which is rounded to minimize the possibility of injury to the uterine wall. Notches l2 and 13 are formed in opposite sides of the cannula near the closed end 11 thereof, being sufficiently deep to form openings through which menstrual fluid may be withdrawn. The notches are located at different distances from end 11.
Except for the shape of the notches l2 and 13, the cannula 10 is identical to one which may be purchased from Berkeley Bio-Engineering, ,Inc., l2l5 Fourth Street, Berkely, Calif. 94710, under its part No. 23139, for a 4 mm VACURETTE.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the proximal end of cannula 10 is sealingly connected to a flexible plastic tube 15, which may be termed a suction line, and which extends through the rubber stopper 16 of a receptacle 17 adapted to receive the menstrual fluid. A second tube or suction line 18 extends through stopper 16 to a twoway check valve 19, which fonns part of a suctionproducing device next to be described.
The suction-producing device (FIG. 2) comprises a large plastic syringe 21 of the disposable type frequently employed for hypodermic purposes. The syringe has a cylindrical barrel 22 in which is slidably mounted a piston 23, the piston being reciprocated manually through use of a plunger 24. In a preferred syringe, the volume of the barrel is about 50 cubic centimeters.
The closed tip of barrel 22 has two coaxial tubular extensions thereon, numbered 26 and 27, the latter having a passage therethrough which communicates with the interior of the barrel. The two extensions 26 and 27 form an annulus therebetween in which is sealingly inserted a connector portion of two-way check valve 19.
Check valve 19 has an outer body 28 which is formed of plastic and is integral with the connector portion described above. A tubular sleeve 29 of rubber is mounted coaxially within body 28 and has sealingly inserted in the outer end thereof one end of a flanged tube 31. A second and smaller flexible sleeve 32 of rubber is mounted around the other end of tube 31, such other end being closed except at a radial opening 33. A closure or cap member 34 is snap-fitted into body 28 in radially-outwardly spaced relationship from the small sleeve 32, and has a necked-down end 36 through which an air passage 37 is formed. An additional air passage, numbered 38, is formed through an integral radial fitting on body 28 and which is sealingly connected to suction line 18, the air passage 38 terminating at the first or large-diameter sleeve 29.
In the operation of the two-way check valve 19, movement of plunger 24 to the right in FIG. 2 causes air to flow through suction line 18 and air passage 38 to the exterior of sleeve 29, and such air forces the sleeve inwardly so that the air flows into the body 28 and thence through the air passage into barrel 22. At this time, no air can enter through air passage 37 since any such air tends to force the small sleeve 32 into sealing relationship over radial opening 33.
When the plunger 24 is shifted to the left in FIG. 2, the resulting air pressure in body 28 forces the large sleeve 29 into sealing relationship with air passage 38, so that it is impossible for air to enter the suction line 18. Instead, the air flows through the flanged tube 31 to radial opening 33 therein, and passes through such radial opening and along the interior surface of the small sleeve 32 to air passage 37 for discharge to the atmosphere.
The valve 19 may be purchased from Clay Adams, a division of Becton, Dickinson and Company, Parsippany, NJ. 07054, under the trademark Adams Aupette."
DESCRIPTION OF THE METHOD On or about the date of the estimated onset of menstrual period, a vaginal speculum (not shown) is used to spread the vaginal walls to expose the cervix and cervical os to view. The cannula is then inserted through the cervical os 41 (FIG. 4) into the uterus 42, insertion being continued until the fundus 43 is lightly engaged. As previously emphasized, the diameter of the cannula is such that there is a snug fit with the walls of the cervical lumen.
The plunger 34 of the syringe 21 is then reciprocated, for example about five times when a syringe of the above-indicated size is employed and when the receptacle 17 is a size adapted to contain 8 to 16 fluid ounces. The receptacle is thus substantially evacuated, there being no possibility (due to the presence of twoway check valve 19) of injecting air into the receptacle and thus into the cannula.
Because of the relationship between the cannula and the walls of the uterus, the suction pulls the menstrual fluid through the cannula and the suction tube and thus into receptacle 17.
During the procedure, the outer end of the cannula 10 is manually manipulated in order to cause the tip of the cannula to move to all portions of the fundus 43. Stated otherwise, the tip is rotated and orbited (with varying diameters) as necessary to achieve the stated purpose.
Toward the end of the procedure, the cannula is slowly partially withdrawn and the tip is orbited until it engages various portions of the wall of the uterus nearer and nearer the cervix. Finally, the cannula is fully withdrawn and the procedure terminated.
The entire procedure is performed'using disposable plastic sterile gloves, a chemically sterilized cannula, a plastic speculum, etc. Furthermore,the cannula is not allowed to touch the wall of the vagina during The position of the uterus is determined prior to commencement of the procedure, to make sure that the cannula is inserted and manipulated in the proper manner.
The foregoing detailed description is to be clearly understood as given by way of illustration and example only, the spirit and scope of this invention being limited solely by the appended claims.
I claim: 1. A method of taking care of the menstrual requirements of a woman, which comprises:
determining the date on which the normal menstrual flow of a woman is due to start or is actually startmg, providing a semirigid cannula having opening means near the tip thereof, the outer diameter of said cannula being sufficiently small to permit insertion of said cannula into the uterus of said woman without dilation of the cervix, inserting said cannula, on or about said date, through the undilated cervix of said woman, applying suction to said cannula and simultaneously moving the tip thereof to different positions within said uterus, and continuing said application of suction, and said movement, until substantially all of the menstrual fluid within said uterus has passed into said opening means and been withdrawn through said cannula,
thereby eliminating the period of menstrual flow of said woman.
2. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said method further comprises effecting a seal between the outer wall of said cannula and the interior wall of said cervix, whereby the suction applied within said uterus draws fluid therein only from the uterus, and also tends to effect contraction of said uterus.
3. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said cannula is initially inserted sufficiently far that said tip thereof is adjacent to the fundus, and in which said movement comprises first orbiting said tip near the fundus, and then slowly withdrawing said cannula while continuing said orbiting.
4. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said method further comprises causing said cannula to have an outer diameter of about 4 mm.
5. The invention as claimed in claim 1, in which said method further comprises applying said suction by connecting said cannula to a sealed receptacle, and removing air from said receptacle by means of a suction pump.
6. The invention as claimed in claim 5, in which said method further comprises employing as said suction pump a plastic syringe to which is connected a two-way check valve, said valve being so constructed and connected to said receptacle that movement of the plunger of said syringe in one direction expels air from said syringe to the ambient atmosphere but not to said receptacle, and movement of said plunger in the opposite direction draws air from said receptacle into said syringe.