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Should I Use a Pessary for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

Woman wonders about using a pessary for vaginal prolapseShould I use a pessary for pelvic organ prolapse?


If you're dealing with pelvic organ prolapse, a pessary is a common non-surgical option for treating pelvic organ prolapse in women. The device is inserted vaginally and used to help support the vagina and pelvic organs, relieving symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse. There are pros and cons to pessary devices, but they can be a safe option for most women.

Pelvic organ prolapse can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. You may experience symptoms such as urinary incontinence, lower back pain, bowel issues, and pelvic pain or pressure. You may also feel as if you have something in your vagina possibly causing you to feel uncomfortable. When inserted correctly, a pessary can offer support for prolapsing tissues and relieve many of your symptoms related to pelvic organ prolapse.

Because all women are unique, there are several different types of pessaries in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pessaries are not a one size fits all device, so you and your doctor will be able to work together to find the style and size most comfortable for you. As a pessary is removable, it can also be replaced if your needs change over time.

If you have a vaginal or pelvic infection, you should not use a pessary. You should also discuss any allergies with your physician so you can choose a device free of any known allergens. To prevent complications with your pessary, you should be sure to follow instructions regarding removal and cleaning. Though they are safe to wear long term, they do require periodic removal for cleaning. If you are in menopause and dealing with issues like vaginal dryness, care needs to be taken as your vaginal tissues can be more delicate.

Increased vaginal discharge and odor may occur but are generally managed with correct cleaning of the pessary. If the pessary does not fit properly, you could experience some vaginal bleeding or pain. Serious side effects are rare and are generally avoided by working with your doctor to be sure you are wearing the correct size; cleaning your device regularly and correctly; and following up with your doctor. Using vaginal estrogen can also help with some side effects associated with wearing a pessary.

Using a pessary can be a discreet and minimally invasive method for managing pelvic organ prolapse. The device can bring symptom relief with few risks and is an option for almost all women who wish to avoid surgery. Not all doctors are thoroughly knowledgeable about pessaries, so be sure to ask questions and find a doctor with extensive experience who can help you choose the right pessary for you.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

09-16-2015 - 10:27 AM


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