Frequently Asked Questions on Pessaries


What is a pessary?

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.

When is a pessary used?

A pessary is most commonly used to treat prolapse of the uterus, stress urinary incontinence, a retroverted uterus, cystocele and rectocele.

When should I clean a pessary?

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.

How should I clean the pessary?

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.

Pessaries are considered safe for longer treatment of prolapse. But they need to be changed every three to six months.

How to insert a pessary?
  • Wash and clean hands 
  • The notches inside the open ring as well as the opening in ring with support are flexible points. Hold the device between these points and half fold the pessary. The part curved should face the ceiling. Put a small amount of water soluble lubricants over the insertion edge
  • Hold the folded pessary in one hand and spread the vagina lips with another hand
  • Gently push pessary into vagina
How to remove a pessary?
  • Wash hands
  • Find pessary rim just below the pubic bone in the frontal area of the vagina. Locate opening and hook finger over rim
  • Tilt pessary slightly to about 30 degrees and gently put it out of the vagina. If the pessary can be folded then it can be removed with ease