Pessary Fitting and Care
It is not uncommon for a woman to need a pessary after the birth of a child or before having pelvic surgery. It is most often used for prolapse of the uterus which is caused by the weakening or sagging of the muscles and/or ligaments.
A vaginal pessary is a plastic or rubber device inserted through the vagina to help support the uterus, vagina, bladder or rectum. This device is also helpful if you have stress urinary incontinence (the leaking of urine when you cough, strain or exercise), or experience incontinence while pregnant.
Your physician or provider at Methodist Physician’s Clinic Women’s Center will determine which type of vaginal pessary is best for you and your comfort.
Most pessaries can be removed daily, weekly, monthly or at the discretion of the patient in order to clean. Routine cleaning can be done with regular soap and water.
Ring pessaries can be removed or left in place during intercourse. They can also be inserted as needed to address the issue of stress incontinence with exercise. Many pessaries can be worn for weeks at a time before they need to be removed, so talk with your gynecologist about what is right for you. He/she may want you to come into the office so he/she can assist you. Sometimes the size or shape of the pessary can change. If the device is too small or has changed shape, it can fall out if you strain too hard or lift a heavy object. If this happens, check with your provider.
All patients wearing pessaries should be examined every 3-6 months to check for vaginal erosions or ulcers. If you have any discomfort, have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement, contact your provider.
You may notice a vaginal discharge, odor and/or vaginal irritation when wearing a pessary. Your gynecologist can counsel you on what the best remedies will be for you. This could include using a specific vaginal gel or if you are past menopause you may need to use an estrogen cream to alleviate the irritation.