Sanitary napkin shaped for use with a thong garment
A sanitary napkin shaped to fit the contours of a thong garment
from the front of the wearer to the crotch of the wearer. The napkin
is generally "V" shaped, so that the vertex of the "V"
can be positioned below the vagina of the wearer. The napkin is
generally V-shaped with a bulb-shaped top end and an elongated lower
portion, so that the vertex of the "v" can be positioned
below the vagina of the wearer.
1. A feminine sanitary pad having one or more absorbent layers
for use in absorbing menstrual fluids of a female wearer of the
pad, said pad specifically adapted and configured to fit externally
of the vaginal opening of said female wearer and completely within
the confines of a thong-shaped garment being worn by said female,
said garment having a narrow elongated crotch portion of material
which extends in substantially uniform width from the crotch up
the back of the garment, said pad to be positioned within said garment
to extend upwardly along the inside/front of said thong garment,
from a lowermost position starting just rearwardly beyond the lowermost
portion of the vagina of said female, the configuration of said
pad being an overall v-shaped in plan view, and bulbed at a first
top end having a predetermined width, and tapering therefrom longitudinally
to a midportion, and from there longitudinally narrowing in an elongated
lower end portion terminating in a second end, remote from said
first end, said lower end portion having a substantially uniform
width, being less than twenty-five per cent of the width of said
bulbed first end portion and being less than the width of the narrow
elongated crotch portion of the thong garment, and a length greater
than one third, but less than one half the total length of the pad
from longitudinal end to end.
2. The pad of claim 1 wherein the pad has a contour which is defined
along longitudinally extending peripheral curvilinear edges concave
from the first end to the second end.
3. The sanitary napkin according to claim 1 wherein said second
end terminates in a rounded vertex.
4. The sanitary napkin according to claim 1 wherein the side view
profile of said napkin taken in a plane parallel to the longitudinal
side between said two ends of said napkin is defined by variations
in thickness from one end to the other.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
This invention relates to sanitary napkins designed to receive
and contain vaginal discharges such as menses and more particularly
to such napkins shaped to accommodate fashionable designs of clothing.
2. Background Art
There is a plethora of sanitary napkin designs to solve a wide
variety of problems related to the reception, containment and disposal
of the menstrual fluid issuing from a woman at the days of her menstrual
period. For example, in the prior art expounded upon in U.S. Pat.
No. 4,687,478 issued Aug. 18, 1987 to Kees J. Van Tillburg, et al.
and assigned to The Procter & Gamble Company and his later patent
based on the same application, U.S. Pat. No. 5,267,992, issued Dec.
7, 1993, there is disclosed a sanitary napkin of a particular shape
with two side flaps extending outwardly from the absorbent means,
each flap being associated with said absorbent means along non-linear
lines of juncture. The patent is of interest for its exposition
of the prior art and the problems contained therein. Those problems
include reception of the fluid and containment of the fluid; comfort
of the wearer; problems regarding disposal of the napkin; and retention
of the napkin within the garments of the wearer as well as protection
of those garments from staining. The problems also include deformation
of the napkin due to conformance of the napkin with the body of
the wearer. Those patents disclose, among other things, a shape
of the absorbent means in which the width at its center is less
than the width of its ends. The attempt is to contour this shape
so it is closely attuned to the anatomical dimensions of the crotch
region of the user. This ostensibly makes the sanitary napkin more
comfortable to wear while, at the same time, making it more effective
by rendering it less subject to compression by the legs of the user.
For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,687,478, it is stated in column
5, lines 63 et seq.,
"It is preferred that the width of the central absorbent pad
212 between lines of juncture 226 and 226'at their nearest approach
be from 1 to about 8 centimeters. The width of the central absorbent
pad 212 at its ends should be from about 2 to 9 centimeters. Central
absorbent pad 212 should be from about 7.6 to about 38 centimeters
Not only is it difficult to describe in such dimensional terms
a device which is worn by all manner of humans in terms of their
dimensions, but also, the description of this device in connection
with the clothing which is to be worn by these people at the time
they are wearing the device, is even more complicated. For example,
at column 7 of the '478 patent beginning at line 67, it is stated:
"Total flexibility of flap 224 permits flap 224 to be positioned
around the edge of the crotch portion of a panty without having
to alter the natural path of the edge of the crotch portion of the
panty. Thus, the edge of the crotch portion of a panty need not
be stretched to fit to the second flexible axis of the flap."
The patentee goes on to describe the undergarment of the type commonly
worn by many women and well known as a panty. It comprises a front
section, a back section, a crotch portion which joins the front
and back sections; said crotch portion comprising two side edges
and a center crotch portion. Column 9, lines 40 to 45.
The patentee then goes on to define the interaction of the garment
with the napkin, stating in column 10 beginning at line 11, "the
edge of the crotch portion of the panty generally contains an elastic
material. When a panty is worn, the elastic of the edge of the crotch
portion generates an upward force, i.e., against the body due to
the energy in the elastic and the fit of the panty. In accordance
with this invention, the placement of a folded up wing portion on
each side of the napkin between the body and the edges of the crotch
portion of the panty results in an upward force generated by the
edge of the crotch portion of the panty, pushing a portion of the
flaps containing the second axis of flexibility snugly against the
body. This results in a gasket-like seal being formed along the
axis of flexibility between the flaps and the bottom. This is illustrated
in FIG. 7 of the patent.
The above description is provided to show that the prior art is
highly developed in its knowledge and understanding of this device
and its interaction with the persons who are using this device for
its intended purpose and their garments.
Sanitary napkins come in a wide variety of shapes from oblong,
as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,556,146 issued Dec. 3, 1985 to James
L. Swanson; the double-flared shape shown in the patents just mentioned
and U.S. Pat. No. 4,950,264 issued Aug. 21, 1990 to Thomas W. Osborne,
III and his U.S. Pat. No. 5,009,653 issued Apr. 23, 1991, as well
as Design Pat. No. 215,386 issued Sep. 23, 1969 to Jacob A. Glassman.
Oval shapes are also known such as that shown in Design Pat. No.
240,562 issued Jul. 13, 1976 to Howard A. Whitehead, et al., as
well as their Design Pat. No. 240,563 issued Jul. 13, 1976, and
Howard A. Whitehead's Pat. No. D247368 issued Feb. 28, 1978.
Other shapes include the trapezoidal shape shown in U.S. Design
Pat. No. D236385 issued Aug. 19, 1975 to Robert Celander, et al.,
and U.S. Pat. No. D240564 issued Jul. 13, 1976 to Howard A. Whitehead,
et al. and the modification of the trapezoid shown in U.S. Pat.
No. D191649, dated Oct. 24, 1961, which shows the trapezoid with
extensions of the type which would extend up the abdomen in the
front and to the area between the buttocks in the rear; and the
irregular shape of a napkin shown in U.S. Design Pat. No. D234162
patented Jan. 21, 1975 by Find Andersen.
Other attempts to contain the fluid combine the sanitary napkin
with a tampon as, for example, is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,383,868
issued Jan. 24, 1995 to Kwang H. Hyun.
Many of these napkin designs include adhesive means to attach portions
of the napkin to the clothing so that the napkin is not dislodged
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Heretofore panty shields available on the market were designed
to fit a traditional full-sized woman's underwear panty. I have
noted that the design is extremely uncomfortable for the growing
population of women who wear thong panties and bathing suits. The
back portions of the available panty shields is too large to fit
in a thong fashion garment, consequently, lumping, folding and sticking
outside of the garment.
To define a thong fashion from the rear is a relative task; although
well known to the eye of the beholder. In general, a regular panty
will embrace along its edges a portion of the thighs of the wearer.
A more modified cut is known as the Rio cut in which the edges of
the panty from the rear do not embrace the thighs, but rather bisect
a portion of the buttocks. The thong, however, minimalizes the material
between the crotch and the upper portion of the buttocks and does
not flare out over any portion of the buttocks until it appears
from therebetween prior to its attachment to the waistband used.
Hence, I have noted that shields would have to be custom cut in
order to fit comfortably in a thong garment.
Accordingly, there are several objects and advantages of my design
of an invention to fit within a thong garment. It is one object
of the thong shield that it be much more convenient. The design
shape will not be required to be individualized or custom-cut from
a prior art napkin. Panty shields that a woman may carry in her
purse to have on hand would not require precutting to fit comfortably
when used because the thong garment shield would already be cut
to size for such a garment. This will eliminate the waste of time
in the cutting procedure and the wondering if a "guess"
fit will be accurate. Further, such custom cutting normally destroys
the efficacy of the devices which have been designed for particular
purposes and not for the particular purpose of fitting into a thong
Secondly, the thong garment shield is design to eliminate the lumping,
folding, and random sticking out of the current form of panty shield
worn along with the thong garment; thus considerably improving the
ease of applying the shield to the thong garment in an especially
The principal advantage, of course, is in the use of this device
to allow the modern woman to expand the styles of underwear and
other garments she wishes to use at the time of the month when she
needs a sanitary napkin. This is dramatically opposed to the prior
art which was obviously designed only to be useful in traditional
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a sanitary
napkin for use with a thong-shaped garment which provides the same
degree of confidence in the actual protection being provided as
in other panty shields or sanitary napkins, without jeopardizing
fashion and style or risking the health of the user (as in the case
of the tampon) and which ultimately eliminates all the following
Many women during certain times of the month will change their
normal fashion because there is no product available on the market
to comfortably fit in the thong and french-cut styles that will
provide exterior protection;
Many women will decide not to change their fashion, thus only having
the option of insertable protection such as tampons with their attendant
proven health risk and discomfort; and
Many women will take the time and effort involved to customize
their available exterior protection products to fit their underwear
comfortably, but may in the process destroy the utilitarian value
of such protects.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with my invention, the thong napkin provides a narrowing,
tapering, anterior shape to exterior feminine protection not found
in the prior art.
My invention comprises a sanitary napkin having a contour defining
a first end; a second end longitudinally remote from said first
end and narrower than said first end; said contour being generally
V-shaped such that said second end is at the vertex of said V-shape.
Most preferably, the napkin contour is further defined along longitudinally
extending peripheral curvilinear edges concave from the first end
to the second end and terminates in a rounded vertex. I also contemplate
that the profile of said napkin taken in a plane parallel to the
longitudinal side of said napkin is defined by variations in thickness
from one longitudinal end to the other to provide variation in protection.
In summary, the tapering anterior design offers a slender cut to
comfortably and precisely fit in thong garments. Also included are
the savings in time and effort as well as the fact that women can
comfortably continue to wear all fashions during their menstruation
From what will be described, it will be apparent that this product
will also work perfectly well in all conventional and foreign fashions
and provide the protection and confidence afforded by the prior
art, and therefore can basically take the place of many prior art
devices in many cases.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical prior art thong garment;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a typical prior art thong garment
with a prior art device applied to it showing the potential wearer
in phantom lines, to show positioning of the garment;
FIG. 3 is an elevation of the rear view of the prior art device
shown in FIG. 2 applied to a thong garment with the resulting effects
shown when the thong is worn by a person as shown in dotted lines;
FIG. 3 A is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with another prior art
panty garment shown in full view;
FIGS. 4 A, B and C show three plan views of the devices in accordance
with my invention of different sizes;
FIGS. 5 A, B and C show left side views of the devices shown in
FIGS. 4 A, B and C, respectively;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a thong panty shield in accordance
with a preferred embodiment of my invention shown disposed in place
as it would be used by a wearer of a thong (also shown); and
FIG. 7 is a top view of the device and garment shown in FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the basic thong garment designated
generally 10. This garment normally has minimal material forming
the strap 12 between the crotch 14 and waistband 16 in what is the
rear R of the garment. The front 18 of the garment is normally tapered
and of such a width that it will only cover a portion of the abdomen
of the wearer. Normally, the edges do not extend completely across
the abdomen to the line of intersection between the thighs and the
abdomen of the person. Any type of waistband and connection between
the front and back may be used in such a thong garment. The G-string
16 is shown merely for purposes of illustration. It will also be
known in the prior art to expand the amount of material at the top
17 of the strap 12 where it joins the G-string 16 in the rear, while
still maintaining the narrow band up to that point; the purpose
being to expose as much of the buttocks as possible. It will be
appreciated by those in the fashion industry, if not those who buy
such garments, that the normal panty comes with material extending
down to the thigh on either side of the buttocks and that the so-called
Brazilian or Rio cut has material which extends only across a portion
of the buttocks up to the waistband.
In FIG. 2, there is illustrated the situation in which a thong
garment has applied to it the usual type of panty shield as, for
example, that disclosed in any number of the prior art patents described
hereinabove having an elongated napkin designated generally 20 absorbent
portion with wider ends 22, 24 and a narrower center 26. As will
be apparent, the wider ends 22a14 22b in the buttocks portion considerably
overlap the vertical strap 12 of the thong garment 10. This results
in the situation shown in FIG. 3 wherein once the garment 10 is
put on with the napkin 20 in place, there is a large overhang 22a
and 22b on either side of the strap 12 of the garment. Indeed, many
prior art devices are designed to wrap around the crotch portion
of the garment, but the upper portions of the rear extension of
those sanitary napkins would bunch up if they were forced between
the buttocks. Indeed, thong garments are made such that the strap
fits closely against the body of the user from the crotch up to
the waistband. This is contrasted with prior art panties which have
material from the waistband down to the thighs or even the Brazilian
or Rio cut designated generally 25 in which the material extends
from the waistband across a portion of the buttocks as shown in
FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a device designated generally
30 in accordance in the preferred embodiment of this invention,
in place within a thong garment 10. FIG. 4 A, B and C shows three
variations of that napkin varying in accordance with size, but not
necessarily in accordance with the overall shape. From those figures,
it will be apparent that the portion of the sanitary napkin which
would normally cover the vaginal area is wide enough and expanded
long enough to cover that area comfortably while being narrow enough
at one end so as not exceed the physical restraints of the size
of the garment. Thus, from the widest portion designated generally
32, the napkin periphery proceeds to be concave inwardly along both
edges, as at 34, 36, toward one another as it proceeds toward the
opposite longitudinal end 38 of the device. That opposite longitudinal
end is preferably rounded as shown and is designed to terminate
just at the apex of the crotch of the user. That is to say, it is
designed to terminate just beyond the lower most portion of the
The design of the front section of the panty shield remains very
much the same as with other panty shields already available in the
market and may vary in its contour. Thus, for example, it could
have straight sides or be narrower.
The design of the end portion 38, however, is considerably different.
First, it tapers much more quicker and more narrowly to a termination
point than prior art devices. Secondly, it terminates far shorter
than the usual designs. Finally, there is no back portion as there
is in the normal design of a sanitary napkin. In sum, this design
is configured to fit precisely within thong garments, such as thong
panties or bathing suits.
In accordance with my invention, it is desired to provide such
a device in various sizes, such as small, medium and large as illustrated
in FIG. 5 A, B and C.
By the same token, within each size, it would be possible within
the scope of my invention to provide different thicknesses for,
such as mini, regular and maxi pad protection. Further, those thicknesses
could vary along the length of the device as also shown in FIG.
5 A, B and C.
It is further possible with this invention to have it retained
within the confines of the garment in the usual fashion by applying
adhesive means, not shown, but known per se.
METHOD OF OPERATION
In operation, the sanitary napkin in accordance with this invention
is placed in the thong garment in such a position as to fit comfortably
across the lower abdomen of the person wearing the thong with the
narrowest tip portion located proximate to and just beyond the lowest
portion of the vagina of the wearer, as shown in top view FIG. 7.
The device will stay in place by having adhesive means attaching
it to the inner fabric of the thong garment. Further, it is noted
that because there are no extended transverse or lateral panels
on this device, it will be less likely to move from the position
in which it is inserted; nor will there be any bunching up or overhang
beyond the garment itself.
Thus, the invention provides comfort and ease of use, and, at times,
extends to many women who would not otherwise use thong garments
during the time of their period, the option of having such garments
available to them.