Title:
SHIELDED INTRAUTERINE DEVICE
United States Patent 3683906


Abstract:
Opposed members of a collapsible intrauterine contraceptive device have stretches of membranous material extending therebetween which lie flatly between the normally front and rear walls of the uterus to increase the total surface area of the device contacting such walls, thereby presenting a generally flat, planar device which resists embedment within the tissues of the walls.



Inventors:
ROBINSON RALPH R
Application Number:
05/067885
Publication Date:
08/15/1972
Filing Date:
08/28/1970
Assignee:
RALPH R. ROBINSON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61F6/14; (IPC1-7): A61F5/46
Field of Search:
128/137,127
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3633574INTRAUTERINE CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICE1972-01-11Lerner
3425411INTRA-UTERINE DEVICE1969-02-04Robinson
3291125Intrauterine u-shaped pessary1966-12-13Robinson
3256878Intra-uterine contraceptive appliance1966-06-21Schwartz



Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Dunne G. F.
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is

1. For use in a human uterus having a pair of opposed, normally front and rear walls, a pair of opposed sides between said walls, and a pair of fallopian tubes, each presenting a mouth, an intrauterine device including:

2. In a device as claimed in claim 1, wherein is provided means securing said lobe of each terminal to said bight thereof, the periphery of said lobe between its joinder with said one leg and with said bight being free.

3. In a device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said arms are provided with opposed, spaced-apart, inwardly bowed sections intermediate the outwardly bowed portions thereof and said terminals, said inwardly bowed sections being interconnected by said membrane extending therebetween.

4. In a device as claimed in claim 3, wherein said terminals are generally U-shaped, opening inwardly toward one another, said free edges of the lobes being spaced from one another and from the proximal end of said membrane.

5. In a device as claimed in claim 1, wherein is provided particles of a metallic substance impregnated into said membrane to augment the contraceptive properties of the device.

Description:
This invention relates to intrauterine contraceptive devices and has as its primary object the goal of appreciably reducing or entirely eliminating bleeding problems which have sometimes been known to occur as a result of embedment of a conventional intrauterine device within the muscular walls of the uterus underlying the soft inner lining thereof.

Another important object of the instant invention is to provide an intrauterine device capable of carrying out the above object, yet which may be easily collapsed into a slender insertion tube to permit placement of the device within the uterus without the need for painful dilation of the cervical opening.

A further important object of the invention is the provision of a device as aforementioned having embedment-impeding structure incorporated into the body of the device, which structure does not interfere with the function of parts of the device operating to prevent expulsion of the latter from the uterus.

Yet another important object of this invention is the provision of such a device wherein the embedment-impeding structure thereof also serves to eliminate the need for a closed loop configuration in the device in order to obtain expulsion-resistive qualities.

A still further important object of the present invention is to provide a device having all of the qualities as above set forth, with the additional provision of particles of a metallic substance infused into the body of the device to augment its contraceptive properties.

The above objects are capable of being carried out in the present invention by the provision of a membrane having metallic particles impregnated therein which spans the distance between opposed arms in the main portion of the body of the device. The inherent qualities of the membrane, including its sheet-like nature and flexibility, tend to present in the device a generally flat, planar configuration whereby to increase resistance to embedment within the front and rear walls of the uterus, yet permit the arms of the device to be readily collapsed toward one another to facilitate insertion of the device by means of a slender insertion tube.

Similarly, flat, soft, and pliable lobes which span the distance between opposed legs of the upper terminals of the device increase the total surface area thereof and lie flatly between the front and rear walls of the uterus to impede embedment of the device, while permitting the terminals to be folded toward one another to facilitate insertion and removal from the uterus.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a device embodying the principles of my present invention showing the device in place within a human uterus;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, front elevational view of the device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the device taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view of the device taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the device on a reduced scale illustrating the manner in which the device lies flatly between the front and rear walls of the uterus.

Viewing FIG. 2, the intrauterine contraceptive device has a body 10 which is adapted for disposition between the opposed, normally front and rear walls 12 and 14 of the uterus 16 inwardly of the cervix 18 (FIG. 6) and between its opposed sides 20 and 22 (FIG. 1). Incorporated within the body 10 of the device is structure broadly denoted by the numeral 24 for impeding embedment of body 10 within the walls 12 and 14 and sides 20 and 22, the structure 24 including a membrane 26 in the lower part of body 10 which has a circular bead 28 secured to its outer periphery.

The bead 28 about member 26 serves to eliminate what would otherwise be a relatively sharp edge on membrane 26 leading to possible irritation and discomfort to the user. In addition, the bead 28 serves to outline the general configuration of body 10 and includes a pair of opposed, elongated, flexible arms 30 which are joined together at one end thereof and are spaced apart at their opposite ends. An eye 32 at the juncture of the two arms 30 carries a flexible follower 34, and the arms 30 have opposed, outwardly bowed portions 36 therein above the eye 32 which give the lower part of body 10 a generally U-shaped loop appearance and are designed to lie against the sides 20 and 22 of uterus 16 conforming to the shape thereof. Opposed, outwardly curved, generally U-shaped terminals 38 at the opposite ends of the arms 30 are designed to fit between the end wall 40 of uterus 16 and sides 20 and 22 thereof at the mouths 42 of the fallopian tubes, each terminal 38 being provided with a pair of laterally spaced legs 44 and a bight 46 therebetween.

Structure 24 also includes soft, thin, planar and pliable lobes 48 which span the distance between the legs 44 of each terminal 38 to lie flatly between the front and rear walls 12 and 14 adjacent end wall 40 when the device is in use. Each lobe 48 is joined to its corresponding terminal 38 at only two locations thereon, namely, to one of the legs 44 by a tab 50 and to the bight 46 by a second tab 52. The tabs 50 and 52 serve to hold the lobe 48 in a flat disposition and yet, inasmuch as each lobe 48 extends outwardly from its connected leg 44 interiorly of the terminal 38 and terminates in a free edge 54 spaced from the opposing leg 44, the terminals 38 are free to elongate and fold toward one another when the device is to be housed within an insertion device (not shown) of the type described in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,467,088, granted Sept. 16, 1969. Such patent is accordingly incorporated into this specification for a full disclosure of the nature and operation of the insertion device.

The arms 30 also have opposed, inwardly bowed sections 56 intermediate the terminals 38 and outwardly bowed portions 36 of the body 10 presenting a slender neck region 58 therebetween. Membrane 26 extends longitudinally of the arms 30 from between outwardly bowed portions 36 and through the neck region 58 to terminate at a distance from each of the lobes 48 of the terminals 38.

Filling the interior of the lower part of body 10 with the flexible membrane 26 in the manner disclosed, serves a number of extremely beneficial purposes. Primarily, the inherent planar qualities of membrane 26 serve to impede lodgment of the device within the walls 12 and 14 inasmuch as membrane 26 lies flatly between such walls and greatly increases the total surface area of body 10. Accordingly, while the device may tend to embed within the soft endometrium lining of uterus 16, the device is prevented from becoming embedded within the muscular walls of uterus 16 which underlie the endometrium lining and contain many blood vessels which are easily ruptured. By preventing such embedment within the muscular walls, excessive bleeding is thereby eliminated.

Secondly, the presence of the membrane 26 in no way hinders the resistance of the device by means of its outwardly bowed portions 36 and outwardly projecting terminals 38 to expulsion from the uterus 16. Bowed portions 36 and terminals 38 still present a greater lateral dimension to the body 10 than the dimensions of the cervical opening 60. Yet, the inherent resistance of the membrane 26 to lateral stretching tends to limit, to a certain extent, the force with which bowed portions 36 engage sides 20 and 22 thereby impeding embedment of such portions 36 in a lateral direction.

Further, the inherent flexibility of membrane 26, lobes 48, and the spaced relationship between all three of the components, permits the device to be readily collapsed into an elongated, compact package for insertion and removal from the uterus. Additionally, the disposition of membrane 26 between the arms 30 in the lower part of body 10 and within neck region 58 serves to eliminate the problems associated with a "closed loop" device which have been known to occur in the event that such devices were inadvertently pushed through the abdominal wall during insertion.

The presence of membrane 26 and lobes 48 not only impedes embedment of the device, but also the increased coverage of surface area within uterus 16 by membrane 26 and lobes 48 tends to augment the contraceptive properties of the device. Further, extensive tests have shown conclusively that the contraceptive properties of the device may be further enhanced by impregnating membrane 26, lobes 48, and the arms 30 with particles of metal, particularly copper, as indicated in cross section in FIGS. 4 and 5.

It may, therefore, be appreciated that the device of the present invention is capable of attaining the primary contraceptive goals of all such intrauterine contraceptive devices, but without the problems and disadvantages which have heretofore been inherent in certain of such devices.