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1. (WO1993017645) DISPOSITIF DE PREVENTION PRENANT LA FORME D'UN PRESERVATIF
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A Preventative Device in the Form of a Condom

The present invention relates to a preventative device in the form of a condom.

The condom is a preventative device that has long been used as an alternative to other forms of preventatives during coitus.

However, in addition to being used as a means of avoiding con-ception during sexual intercourse, or coitus, the condom has in recent years also been accepted as a means of protection against sexually-transmitted diseases, and particularly against the transmission of the HIV-virus, which leads to AIDS.

Known condoms are intended to be first fitted over the penis and then to remain in place during intercourse. This is also a condition for preventing the transmission of contagious diseases between the partners concerned, among other things the HIV-virus.

There is an obvious risk that the condom will slide from the penis during intercourse, and therewith greatly increase the risk of transmitting disease between the partners concerned.

The Swedish Patent No. 8902339-4 discloses a condom which is designed to remain on the penis during sexual intercourse. This condom is produced from conventional materials in this regard and is characterized in that the part of the condom located nearest the mouth or opening of the condom is provided with a further opening which is intended to be fitted over the scrotum of the wearer.

According to one preferred embodiment of the condom disclosed in this patent, the wall of the condom around this further opening is reinforced. The purpose of this reinforcement is to enable the condom to be fitted in the aforesaid manner more readily, without tearing the condom in the region of the further opening. This reinforcement may either take the form of a separate piece of appropriate material applied to the outer surface of the condom, or may consist of a condom wall thickening.

However, one serious drawback with a condom of this design is that because the material around the further opening is very thin, that part of the condom which defines the further opening is felt to be sharp, particularly in the area immediately behind the scrotum. This gives a significantly uncomfortable feeling. Furthermore, it has been found that the condom cannot be fitted readily onto the penis, because it is difficult to grip the rear part of the condom when fitting the same in the aforedescribed manner.

The invention eliminates these drawbacks.

The present invention thus relates to a preventative device in the form of a condom which is produced from conventional material in this regard and which has a further opening located nearest the main opening of the condom, this further opening being intended to be fitted around the scrotum of the wearer, and is characterized in that a ring of soft and elastic material is fastened to the condom around the condom opening, said ring having a smallest diameter of 2.5 mm.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to an exemplifying embodiment thereof and also with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which
- Figure 1 is a side view of an inventive condom when extended;
- Figure 2 illustrates the condom of Figure 1 from beneath; and
- Figures 3a-3c illustrate three stages in the manufacture of an inventive condom.

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a condom which is manufactured from conventional material in this regard. The part 3 of the condom 1 located nearest the mouth or main opening 2 of the condom is provided with a further opening 4 in its wall 5. The opening 4 is intended to be fitted around the scrotum of the wearer.

According to the invention, a ring 6 of soft and elastic material is fastened to the condom around the main opening 2 thereof, said ring 6 having a smallest diameter of 2.5 mm. At smaller diameters the ring is not sufficiently thick to be abl to grip the ring easily in a functional manner when placing th condom on the penis. A larger suitable diameter is about 5 mm.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the ring 6 is comprised of a porous material, preferably from a foam rubber material. Naturally, other suitable materials may be used. Instead of an homogenous ring, a plastic spring havin a diameter corresponding to the thickness of the ring may be formed into a ring.

However, the material from which the ring is made shall be suc that the extension of the ring is such as to enable the diameter of the ring to be increased to a diameter which is at leas 2.5 times the diameter of the ring when no load is applied thereto, preferably at least 5 times. This enables the condom to be fitted easily in the aforedescribed manner.

Another decisive advantage afforded by the ring is that its lower part will lie against the rear side of the scrotum, because the rear part 7 of the further opening is located very close to the ring, therewith eliminating the aforesaid drawbac that the edge of the further opening is felt to be sharp.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the further opening 4 has a V-shape with the apex of the V facing towards the main opening of the condom, as illustrated in Figure 2. Furthermore, the main opening has rounded parts at the free ends 8, 9 of the legs of the V, in order to reduce or eliminate the initiation of fractures or ruptures in the material.

Another advantage afforded by an opening which has a V-shape is that a tongue 10 is formed which will lie against the forward part of the scrotum, which means that the forward part of the edge which defines the further opening will not be felt to be sharp, at the same time as the tongue will lie tightly against the forward part of the scrotum.

The wall of the condom around said further opening 4 has a conventional reinforcement 11. This reinforcement 11 extends from the ring 6 and slightly forwards towards the closed end of the condom and past the further opening 4.

According to another preferred embodiment of the inventive condom, the condom is configured in a known manner in manufacture so as to have a circumferentially extending and inwardly swung part, such that the condom can creep in behind the glans penis.

According to the invention, the circumferentially
extending and inwardly swung part 12 lies in a plane which defines an angle V of about 60° to 80° with the longitudinal axis of the condom, this plane sloping upwards and rearwards when the further opening 4 faces straight downwards, see Figure 2. This inclined plane greatly improves the sealing effect between the forward part of the condom and its rearward part.

The inventive condom is preferably manufactured in the following manner:
A master rod or mandrel is first dipped into a latex bath in a conventional manner, until the condom has the intended thick-ness. The rod is normally dipped twice into the bath. The rod has the same shape as the desired shape of the condom.
Latex is then sprayed onto the condom seated on the rod so as to form a reinforcement of desired extension. Spraying is effected such that the thickness of the reinforcement will correspond to the thickness obtained when dipping from 1 to 3 times in the latex bath, preferably 1.5 to 2 times.
Subsequent to having formed the reinforcement, the further opening is cut into the condom, suitably with the aid of a laser beam.

Figures 3a-3c illustrate the continued manufacture of the condom. These Figures illustrate an upper part of the master rod or mandrel 12 carrying the upper part of the condom 1 which has been manufactured in the aforedescribed manner.

A ring 6 of the aforedescribed kind is fitted over the' condom. An appropriate glue is then applied to the outer surface of the condom, from its top and slightly downwards. The ring 6 is then rolled downwardly in the manner illustrated by the arrows in Figure 3b, wherein the uppermost part of the condom is entrained by the ring 6 and rolled-up thereon. Figure 3b illustrates the moment at which the uppermost edge of the condom is about to be rolled onto the ring. The ring is rolled down to a final position illustrated in Figure 3c. In this position, the ring 6 has been rolled between about 1 to 3 revolutions from the position shown in Figure 3b. Preferably, the ring will have been rolled through about 1.5 revolutions. The distance throug which the glue is applied on the condom corresponds to the distance through which the ring is intended to be rolled down. The position of the ring in Figure 3c corresponds to the position in Figures 1 and 2 with regard to the position of the ring in relation to the further opening. The glue causes the ring and the remainder of the condom to form a strong, integrated unit.

The drawbacks referred to in the introduction are eliminated b means of the present invention. The invention provides a highl effective condom.

As will be understood, the ring may be fastened in other ways, depending on the material from which it is made. For instance, the ring can be rolled down together with the uppermost part of the condom as before described, whereafter latex is sprayed onto the condom in the region of the ring, so as to encase the ring in latex. No glue is required when this method is applied.

It will also be understood that the present invention can be modified with regard to its manufacture and its detail con-struction.

The present invention shall not therefore be considered restricted to the aforedescribed embodiments, since modifications and changes can be made within the scope of the following
Claims.