US 3841333 A
The menses collector includes a plurality of superposed rows of collecting cups which are supported by and empty into a central collecting conduit which is open at the top and has a discharge valve at the lower end thereof.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 11 1 1111 3,841,333
Zalucki 1451 061. 15, 1974 [5 MENSES COLLECTOR 2,613,670 10/1952 SOkOlllfi 128/285  Inventor: Kazimim Zalucki, 7 Hob/eke St" 3,157,180 1l/l964 Bakumn 128/285 Easthampton Mass' 02027 Primary ExaminerAldrich F. Meclbery Filed; JBII- 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Shlesinger, Arkwright,
1211 Appl. No.: 431,543 Garvey Dmsm'e 1521 11.3. C1. 128/285, 128/263  MfSTRACT 1511 161. (:1. A611 13/20 1116 menses collector Includes P of p 1581 Field 61 Search..... 128/285, 270, 263, 127-131 posed rows of collecting p which are supported by and empty into a central collecting conduit which is  R f r n Cit d open at the top and has a discharge valve at the lower UNITED STATES PATENTS- end Chalmers 128/285 18 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED I 3.841.333
SIEU 1 0f 2 Pmmmm 1 5% 3.841333 SHE! 213! 2 ll 30 r2 20 BACKGROUND OF INVENTION This invention relates to menstrual collector devices, and particularly to a type of device which permits repeated usage during the entire period of menstrual flow without replacement or handling of the unit.
Within the last ten to fifteen years there have been considerable advances made in the types of devices used for collection of menstrual flow. The basic sanitary napkin has been improved considerably, and tampon type of devices introduced which are more effective and less restricting than earlier devices. However, all of these devices have the drawback of requiring replacement when they have absorbed their limited capacity of menstrual fluids.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION Accordingly, the present invention has as its principal object the overcoming of this disadvantage by providing a device which can be used throughout the entire period of menstrual flow without need for change or handling. Further, the device is made of soft material and is inserted completely into the vagina without causing discomfort, and making it possible for the user to conduct normal daily activities without inconvenience.
The device is constructed with a valve mechanism which permits the user to conveniently drain the unit without removal by merely releasing a flow valve thereon.
Besides being convenient and simple to use, the device can be manufactured economically, and can be used repeatedly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of the device partially in section.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the device shown compressed within the insertion tube.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along lines 3--3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the collector cups.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view along line 55 of FIG. 1 showing the path of menses flow within the device.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 5 illustrating the construction of the cup and conduit structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring particularly to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates the device which is made of very pliable and soft rubber or plastic, showing the plurality of superposed rows of cups 20, 22, 24, 26, and 28 and their arrangement about the central collecting conduit 30. The upper end 31 of the conduit 30 is open to directly receive longitudinal menses flow. The passageway can also be flared outwardly at thispoint to more effectively receive longitudinal flow. A relatively rigid discharge tube 32 is disposed at the lower end of the central conduit 30 and has an outwardly flared valve seat at the lower end thereof. A spherical ball valve 36 seats within the discharge tube valve seat 34 and is held in position by resilient seal return bands 38 connected to the ball valve 36 at the lower end and to the discharge tube itself at their upper end.
The ball valve has a valve release cord 40 attached to its lower end, and the discharge tube 32 has a cord pull 41 attached to its lower end.
As shown in FIG. 2, the device can be compressed and fitted within the rigid storage and insertion tube 42. The collector device is loaded within the tube from the top by partially inserting it therein and then pulling on the cord pull 41 to move the device down through the tube to the position shown in dotted outline in FIG. 2.
The arrangement and structure of the collecting cup rows is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The structure and arrangement of the cups of each of the rows are the same and for illustration purposes, cup 44 which is disposed between adjacent cups 46 and 48 will be described. Each cup has a concave arcuate outer wall supported by side walls 50. The side wall are directly connected to the central conduit 30 along the inner edges 52 thereof. The conduit 30 has a bellows-like configuration and as seen in FIG. 4, the periphery 52 has a serrated conflguration with alternate triangular indentations 54 and triangular protrusions 56. The lower end of each cup is attached to the conduit along the lower edge 58 thereof.
Adjacent each cup the central conduit 30 has an inlet port 60 through which the menses flows into the conduit. The dotted lines indicate the manner in which the collecting cup side walls 50 flex when the conduit 30 is longitudinally compressed.
The arrangement of the conduit inlet openings is such that there is direct flow from each of the individual cups directly into the central collecting conduit.
The actual shape of the opening is best illustrated in FIG. 6 wherein a side view of the conduit inlet ports 64 and 66 is shown. A direct face view of the inlet port 60 of cup 44 illustrates that the opening is rectangular in appearance when directly viewed along a radial line and that the lower edge of the inlet ports 68 extends down to the bottom of the cup adjacent a point where the lower section of the cup is integrally connected to the central collecting conduit.
The manner in which the device collects and dis charges the menses fluid can be seen with reference to the sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 5. The longitudinal flow along the vagina enters the central collecting conduit and the upper open large intake end 31, passing directly downwardly through the collecting conduit. Flow adjacent the side of the device enters the cups at the top thereof shown at 72 and flows downwardly and through the inlet ports and into the central collecting conduit as shown by the arrows 74. The fluid collects within the collector cavity 76 within the upper portion of the discharge tube 32 disposed above the ball valve 36. The ball valve 36 is held in the upper sealed position against the discharge tube valve seat byv OPERATlON FIG. 2 shows the manner in which the device is stored in a ready-to-use condition. The device is made of soft rubber and is packed within the insertion tube 42 which is a cylindrical piece of plastic or metal having a diameter which will permit the tube itself to be easily inserted within the vaginal cavity, while being of sufficiently large dimension cross-sectionally to permit the collector device itself, which is made of soft rubber or plastic, to be readily collapsed and fitted within the tube. This is effected by pulling the collector device down into and through the tube by the cord pull lil attached to the lower end of the collector conduit. The assembly is tightly packed so that after the tube has been inserted into position in the vaginal cavity, a slight push on the lower end of the collector unit will only be necessary to move the upper end of the collector tube with row out of the tube into expanded position. Then a slight pull on the tube will remove it while leaving the collector unit within the cavity in an expanded position (FIG. l) where the rows of cups engage the side walls of the vaginal cavity to hold it in position.
The flow will be collected both longitudinally through the open end 31 of the collecting conduit and laterally through the rows of cups. The flow, as shown in FIG. 6, will collect down in the bottom section 76 of the collecting conduit. When an accumulation of menstrual fluid is obtained in the device, the device is drained by merely pulling the valve release cord 4% to pull the ball valve 36 to the lower position so that the fluids are discharged out of the lower end of the discharge tube 32 around the lowered ball valve 36 as shown at 78. When the collector device has been emptied the cord is merely released and the ball valve returns to its initial upper position because of the pull of the resilient return bands 38. The ball valve 36 is pulled up into contact with the flared discharge tube valve seat section 34, effectively sealing the lower end of the central collecting conduit.
e to The conduit inlet ports at are sufficiently lar permit passage of clots and menstrual fluid to the central collecting conduit. The valve opening is sufficiently large to permit this material to pass out of the lower end of the discharge tube 32.
Since the collector device is made sterile plexirubber or soft plastic which is very pliable, it will readily conform to the shape of the vagina and be uncomfortable after insertion.
The collector device can be cleaned simply with soap and water and reused. Preferably, the device should be repacked within the insertion tube after use. Since it is possible to use the collector device for subsequent menstrual periods, substantial economies over present methods can be effected.
While the invention has been described, it will be understood that it is capable of further modifications, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following in general the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. A menses collector, comprising:
a. a plurality of superposed cups made of pliable material dimensioned to fit within the vaginal cavity,
b. a central collecting conduit extending axially of the cups and integrally connected thereto,
c. an inlet port associated with each of the cups to permit the contents thereof to drain into the central collecting conduit,
d. discharge valve means disposed at the lower end of the central collecting conduit for permitting drainage of menstrual fluid from the conduit while the collector is in position within the vagina.
2. The menses collector as set forth in claim 1,
a. a plurality of cups are radially disposed about the collector conduit forming axially spaced rows of collector cups.
3. The menses collector as set forth in claim l,
a. the central collecting conduit has a corrugated collapsible configuration and is made of soft resilient material permitting it to compress both radially nd axially.
4. The menses collector as set forth in claim l,
a. the valve means includes a retractable sealing element disposed at the lower end of the central collecting conduit and biased into a sealing position with respect thereto,
h. pull means attached to the valve means for open ing the valve to permit discharge of fluids from the central collecting conduit.
3g The menses collector as set forth in claim 3,
a. the central collecting conduit includes an outwardly flared circular valve seat,
b. the retractable sealing element is a separate movable element having a surface which fits into sealing engagement within the valve seat,
pull means is integrally connected to the movab e sealing element.
menses collector as set forth in claim 5,
s ing element is a. ball, lit is a length of flexible cord.
collector as set forth in claim 1,
antral collecting conduit has an elongated rel rigid discharge tube disposed at the lower e tube has an outwardly flared circular means includes a ball valve having resilearn bands connected thereto at one end 6O discharge tube at the other end for resiliently b asing the ball valve in sealed position ie valve seat,
0. elonga d flexible pull means is connected to the ball valve at the lower end thereof to permit the user to unseat the ball valve from the valve seat to drainage of the central collecting conduit tube.
ills? 9. The menses collector as set forth in claim 1,
a. the central conduit has an open large intake at the top thereof. 10. The menses collector as set forth in claim 1,
a. the insertion means includes a rigid cylindrical tube of substantially the same length as the central collecting conduit,
b. the lower end of the central collecting conduit has depending pull means integrally connected thereto for loading the collector device within the insertion tube.
12. A menses collector, comprising:
a. elongated circular cross section collector conduit means for receiving and storing menstrual fluids which is dimensioned to be inserted within the vaginal passage and to extend a major portion of the length thereof,
b. the collector conduit being made of soft resilient pliable material and being open at the top thereof for receiving menstrual fluid discharged at a point above the top of the collector conduit,
c. an elongated rigid discharge tube disposed at the lower end of the collector conduit means which is dimensioned to permit passage of menstrual fluid and entrained matter,
d. the discharge tube having a length which is a substantial percentage of the length of the collector conduit and has a width of substantially less cross section than that of the collector conduit,
e. a plurality of circumferentially disposed lateral flow receiving means disposed along the length of the collector conduit means for passing menstrual fluid into the interior thereof,
f. discharge valve means disposed at the lower end of the discharge tube for sealing the lower end of the discharge tube and permitting drainage of menstrual fluid therefrom while the menses collector is in position within the vagina.
13. The menses collector of claim 12, wherein:
a. the flow receiving means includes a plurality of superposed rows of cups.
14. The menses collector of claim 13, wherein:
a. each row includes a plurality of separate radially disposed adjoining cups.
l5. Tl-le menses collector of claim 12, wherein:
a. the collecting conduit has a corrugated collapsible configuration,
b. the flow receiving means is a series of inlet ports cut through the collecting conduit.
16. The menses collector as set forth in claim 12,
a. the collector includes insertion means for facilitating insertion of the collector within the vaginal cavity and comprises a rigid cylindrical tube of substantially the same length as the collecting conduit means discharge.
17. The menses collector as set forth in claim 12,
a. the discharge tube has an outwardly flared valve seat at the lower end thereof,
b. the valve means includes a retractable sealing element disposed at the lower end of the discharge tube and biased into sealing position with respect to the valve seat.
18. The menses collector as set forth in claim 16,
a. the lower end of the discharge tube is an outwardly flared circular section which comprises the valve seat,
b. the valve means includes a ball valve having resiland the discharge tube.