Title:
UNDERGARMENT WITH DISCREET ACCESS OPENING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An undergarment includes a body having a genital covering front panel, an anus covering back panel and a crotch connective portion connecting the front panel and the back. panel. An access opening extends across the front panel, the crotch connective portion and the back panel. The access opening extends up the front panel to provide access to a wearer's genital region. The access opening extends up the back panel to provide access to a wearer's anus region. A pair of sliding closure members are provided. The closure members define a closed position when placed in abutting relation. The closure members define an open position when placed in a spaced part position. The size and positioning of the open position being adjustable by selective positioning of the sliding closure members.



Inventors:
O'connor, Shelly (Victoria, CA)
Application Number:
15/110159
Publication Date:
11/17/2016
Filing Date:
01/08/2015
Assignee:
O'CONNOR Shelly
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B9/04; A41B9/00
View Patent Images:
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20110181081BUCKET SEATJuly, 2011Williams et al.



Primary Examiner:
FERREIRA, CATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Finch & Maloney PLLC (Manchester, NH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An undergarment, comprising: a body having a genital covering front panel, an anus covering back panel and a crotch connective portion connecting the front panel and the back panel; an access opening extending across the front panel, the crotch connective portion and the back panel, the access opening extending up the front panel to provide access to a wearer's genital region and the access opening extending up the back panel to provide access to a wearer's anus region, the access opening having opposed edges; a pair of sliding closure members travelling along the opposed edges of the access opening, the sliding closure members defining a closed position when placed in abutting relation and defining an open position when placed in a spaced part position, the size and positioning of the open position being adjustable by selective positioning of the sliding closure members; and a biasing force generating element to bias the opposed edges of the access opening away from each other to hold the access opening open when the closure members are in the open position.

2. The undergarment of claim 1, wherein the body comprises panties.

3. The undergarment of claim 1, wherein the body is made from stretch fabric that serves as the biasing force generating element and provide a biasing force to bias the opposed edges of the access opening away from each other.

4. The undergarment of claim 1, wherein flex spring members are positioned along the opposed edges of the access opening to serve as the biasing force generating element and provide a biasing force to bias the opposed edges of the access opening away from each other.

Description:

FIELD

There is described an undergarment that was developed for use when conducting internal examinations of women, but which potentially has other uses.

BACKGROUND

When examining a female patient, it is sometime necessary for an attending Physician to access the female patient's vulva or anus. Physicians need to conduct internal examinations of female patients for a number of reasons, such as yearly physical examinations, cancer screening and fibroid detection. Garments have been proposed to facilitate such access, while meeting the privacy, dignity, modesty and comfort needs of the female patient. An example is U.S. Pat. No. 4,145,763 (Abrams et al) entitled “Separable Medical Garment”. There are other patents that have openings in the crotch area, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,597,110 (Smith Sr. et al) and U.S. Pat. No. 7,100,214 (Murray). There will hereinafter be described an undergarment that was developed for facilitating internal examinations of women.

SUMMARY

There is provided an undergarment which includes a body having a genital covering front panel, an anus covering back panel and a crotch connective portion connecting the front panel and the hack panel. An access opening extends across the front panel, the crotch connective portion and the back panel. The access opening extends up the front panel to provide access to a wearer's genital region. The access opening extends up the back panel to provide access to a wearer's anus region. A pair of sliding closure members are provided. The closure members define a closed position when placed in abutting relation. The closure members define an open position when placed in a spaced part position. The size and positioning of the open position being adjustable by selective positioning of the sliding closure members.

The undergarment described above allows the patient a degree of privacy and modesty. At the same time, the attending Physician is able to gain access, as may be required, by simply shifting the positioning of the sliding closure members. It is envisaged that the sliding closure members will be a form of flexible plastic two way zipper, although the sliding closure members will differ from a normal two way zipper in that the closed position will be when the closure members are abutting. It is envisaged that the body will be in the form of panties. It will be appreciated that the style of panty and leg length can vary. In fact, the body could take the form of a full pair of pants or coveralls, if desired.

There are various ways that the access opening could be biased to remain open as wide as possible, during the Physicians examination. One approach is to make the body from stretch fabric. The stretch fabric will provide a biasing force to bias opposed edges of the access opening away from each other to hold the access opening open when the closure members are in the open position. Another approach is to position flex spring members along opposed edges of the access opening. The flex spring member will provide a basing force to bias the opposed edges of the access opening away from each other to hold the access opening open when the closure members are in the open position. The preferred approach is to use both stretch fabric and flex spring members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings, the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended to be in any way limiting, wherein:

FIG. 1 is top plan view of an undergarment positioned on a pattern plane.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the undergarment of FIG. 1 on a patient.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view of the undergarment of FIG. 1 on a patient.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An undergarment generally identified by reference numeral 10, will now be described with reference to FIG. 1 through FIG. 3.

Structure and Relationship of Parts:

Referring to FIG. 1 undergarment 10 has a body 12. Body 12 has been illustrated as taking the form of panties, although it will be appreciated that body 12 can take other forms. Body 12 has a genital covering front panel 14, an anus covering back panel 16 and a crotch connective portion 18 connecting front panel 14 and back panel 16. An access opening 20 extends across front panel 14, crotch connective portion 18 and back panel 16. Access opening 20 need not extend all the way up to front of waistband 22, but must extend sufficiently far up front panel 14 to provide access to a wearer's genital region. Similarly, access opening need not extend all the way up to back of waistband 22, but must extend sufficiently far up back panel 16 to provide access to a wearer's anus region. A pair of sliding closure members 24 and 26 are provided. Closure members 24 and 26 define a closed position when placed in abutting relation. Closure members 24 and 26 define an open position when placed in a spaced part position. It is to be noted that the size and positioning of the open position is adjustable by selective positioning of closure members 24 and 26.

It is preferred that opposed edges 28 and 30 of access opening 20 be held apart during the physician's examination. This is addressed in at least one of two ways. A first way is to have body 12 is made from stretch fabric. Stretch fabric will provide a biasing force to bias opposed edges 28 and 30 of access opening 20 away from each other to hold access opening 20 open when closure members 24 and 26 are in the open position. A second way is to position flex spring members 32 and 34 along opposed edges 28 and 30 of access opening 20. In this way flex spring members 32 and 34 will also provide a basing three to bias the opposed edges 28 and 30 of access opening 20 away from each other to hold the access opening 20 open when closure members 24 and 26 are in the open position.

As FIG. 1 is a laid out view, side seams 36 and leg openings 38 are not completed. Referring to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, a completed garment is shown and it can be seen how undergarment 10 provides the patient with a cover to protect privacy and modesty. The undergarment may be reusable, in which case a suitable material is a 4-way stretch spandex/cotton blend, or single-use/disposable, in which case the material is preferably ecologically friendly, for example a recyclable fabric such as a spandex/cotton/bamboo blend. The closure members are envisaged to be plastic “invisible” zippers. The flex spring members are envisaged to he plastic coated metal spring wire.

Although developed for the purpose of medical examinations, it is now appreciated that undergarment 10 may have other uses. One use proposed is with respect to cavity searches at airports, police stations, prisons, and border crossings. Another proposed use is for the purpose of sexual access. There undoubtedly will be other potential uses that will be determined as undergarment 10 comes to be used by the public.

In this patent document, the word “comprising” is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the word are included, but items not specifically mentioned are not excluded. A reference to an element by the indefinite article “a” does not exclude the possibility that more than one of the element is present, unless the context clearly requires that there he one and only one of the elements.

The scope of the claims should not be limited by the illustrated embodiments set forth as examples, but should be given the broadest interpretation consistent with a purposive construction of the claims in view of the description as a whole.





 
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