A pessary is a soft, removable device placed inside the vagina or the rectum to support the organs affected by pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Prolapse occurs when the bladder, rectum, or uterus slips out of its usual position and protrudes from an orifice such as the vagina or rectum. A pessary can also help treat stress incontinence, which causes urine leakage when you cough, strain, or exercise.
Vaginal pessaries are usually made from medical-grade silicone- a soft, harmless, and non-absorbent material. They can be worn for several days safely. They offer effective non-surgical treatment for prolapse and other gynecological problems.
Vaginal pessaries are often used as a first line of treatment for prolapse and incontinence. Doctors generally recommend pessaries for women with POP who desire non-invasive management, have early-stage prolapse, or are not good candidates for surgery. Pessary is a safe and effective treatment option for various medical problems, including:
Although the vaginal pessary can be a valuable tool in the treatment of prolapse, there are few contraindications to pessary use. They are not suitable for patients with the following:
Pessaries are available in different forms. Two main types are support and space-occupying. Ring pessary is a supportive pessary, and space-filling pessaries are for more advanced prolapse consisting of the Gellhorn, donut, and cube. Sexual intercourse is not possible with a space-filling pessary in place.
It is available with support or without support. A pessary ring is the most used as it easily fits into most female anatomy. It is used for uterine prolapse, cystocele, and stress incontinence. They are highly flexible and are available in different sizes. You can easily insert and remove them without the doctor’s help.
It is used for severe prolapse cases and treats women afflicted with third-degree prolapse. Donut pessary can be used for uterine prolapse, cystocele, and rectocele. It should be removed for sexual intercourse.
This type is commonly used as a space-filling pessary and comes with a knob that easily folds for insertion and removal. Once the pessary is in place, the knob rests on the posterior vaginal wall. A Gellhorn pessary is used to treat cystocele, rectocele, and second and third-degree uterine prolapse.
A cube pessary is designed for advanced-stage prolapses and uses suction to support the areas affected by prolapse. It comes with or without drains. Cube pessary with drain can help with stress incontinence.
Your healthcare provider will perform pelvic exams to see the severity of the prolapse. They will take measurements to get the right fit before selecting and ordering the pessary type and size suitable for you.
If the pessary is too small, it can fall out. If it is too big, it can cause pressure or discomfort to you. They may need to try various types and sizes to find the right one for you.
There are few side effects from pessary use. However, most of the side effects can be corrected as pessaries are removable. If you experience pain or discomfort, the pessary fit is not correct and should be replaced with a different size.
A pink or bloody discharge could mean the pessary is rubbing against the vaginal wall, and in most cases, removal will allow the area to heal. If you notice bleeding and foul-smelling discharge, a visit to the doctor is needed.
One can have sexual intercourse when a support pessary such as a ring is in place. However, the Gellhorn, donut, and cube pessaries fill the vagina and must be removed before sex.
You need to see your doctor if you develop any of the following signs and symptoms, as they can usually be resolved quickly and easily.
A vaginal pessary is an effective device to manage pelvic organ prolapse without surgery. Health Products For You offers a variety of pessaries from various top-selling manufacturers like Bioteque, Medline, Personal Med, etc.
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A pessary is a plastic device created to fit into the vagina to support the vagina, uterus, bladder or rectum. It is a firm ring which is pressed against the vaginal wall and urethra.
A pessary is most commonly used to treat prolapse of the uterus, stress urinary incontinence, a retroverted uterus, cystocele and rectocele.
Pessary should be removed 2-3 times in a week if you can do it yourself. Some recommend daily cleaning of the pessary. If you are uncomfortable doing it on your own then you may visit the doctor’s clinic once every 6-8 weeks to have it checked and cleaned.
The pessary should be washed well with mild soap and water. If it falls into the commode during a bowel movement, first clean it with soap and water then soak it in rubbing alcohol for around 15-20 minutes. Take it out and then keep it in water for another 20 minutes before washing it with soap and water and re-inserting it.