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Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!! Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

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Unread 12-19-2003, 06:16 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

Hello all you ladies! I must say that I went through one of the most disgusting and humiliating experiences yesterday!

At my appointment with my GYNE, I was fitted for a pessary. The only reason I did it was because my insurance company wants me to have 'conventional treatment' instead of a surgical fix for my stage 3 uterine prolapse and urinary incontinence. I did ask him how many 30 year olds he had fitted for one and he said "None, I've done a lot of 75 y.o., I've done a lot of 85 y.o.. Not too many 90 y.o., because there aren't too many of them around!" He explained that pessaries are NOT a feasible treatment for a sexually active menstruating woman. They are designed to be put in place by the doc, and then taken out every three months, cleaned and re-inserted by the doc. I would have to take it out and clean it everytine I have sex, and every time I menstruate.

I absolutely felt like I was in a dream state through the whole process. The nurse came walking in the room with trays of these things. There were some that looked like big fat doughnuts, some that looked like a V, some that looked like a big plastic ring, cubes, a balloon shaped thing that had a pump attached to inflate it...I'm sure that only men designed these things, because I guarantee it would be a cold day in &%@@ that a man would insert one of those monstrosities into their orafices!!!!

My doc explained that the fitting was similar to a fitting for a diaphragm. He said that this was more 'difficult' because pessaries arent nearly as pliable as diaphragms are.

I won't go into all the gory details, but I will say one thing. It was painful, I was literally using the stirrups on the table to push myself away from him! After about 15 tries with a variety of shapes and sizes, we agreed upon one that I would use. It still isn't comfortable, when I am sitting, I feel as if I am having moderate cramps. When I bend over, I feel a pinch behind my pubic bone. I can't stand this.

In closing, I am sorry this is sooo long, I just STILL cannot believe that I have to wear a pessary to appease my insurance company so I can have my problems taken care of the appropriate and surgical way. I am humiliated and, well, I can't describe it...Thanks for listening and I hope NONE of you have to go through this.

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Unread 12-19-2003, 06:33 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

What archaeic insurance company do you have??? That's RIDICULOUS !!!

Unread 12-19-2003, 06:59 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!


Have you tried writing a letter to your insurance company? Especially after your experience yesterday? Contact the insurance regulatory agency for your state and complain about the hoops they are making you go through. Also state legislators can be a big help for their constituents with all kinds of issues, especially something like an insurance company that is regulated by the state.

I hope you can get the help you deserve.

Best wishes.
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Unread 12-19-2003, 07:25 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

This is absolutely deplorable. I hope that you are appealing the insurance denial with your doctor's help. His reasons against a pessary for a woman your age are completely logical and sound like standard medical practice to me.

I would do EXACTLY as MLWeeman says (I am in the insurance industry, though not in health insurance). Get a state legislator involved as she says, along with the insurance commisioner's office. You must appeal the claim though the insurance company's process or the commissioner's office is not going to help you. If your local area has a TV reporter who specializes in consumer problems, contact him or her. I have seen cases where insurance companies have caved after publicity in really stupid decisions such as this one. This is probably the dumbest claim denial I've ever seen.

Can I ask which state you live in and who your carrier is?
Unread 12-19-2003, 07:33 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

I am currently working with 3 uro-gynes and 2 Gynes to get the appeal going. I live in Illinois and I have already contacted the State ins. commisioners office and will be filing for an external independant review. my carrier is Blue Cross/Blue Shieled HMO of IL. I know the hoops HMO's require their participants to go through, but this is definaltey out of whack. Thanks
Unread 12-19-2003, 09:05 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

I had a Blue Cross HMO (Massachusetts) and had a TAH 3 years ago. All my doctor wrote on the form was "for pain" (how vague can you get?!) although my own personal reason for was urinary retention that caused me to go to the ER for a catheter). The hyst was approved right away.

Stay optimistic- nearly half of all appeals are successful. With 5 doctors helping you, I think they will be able to knock some sense into the heads of the insurers' medical team. The insurer may come up with some other excuse that "you are not out of your child bearing years" and therefore cannot have a hysterectomy- but they can't make those kind of decisions for you.

Best wishes.
Unread 12-19-2003, 10:25 AM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

Yesterday I took some cookies to my doc's office and they had a christmas tree decorated with pessseries. I knew about the round ones and the oval ones but the egg carton ones really freaked me out. The nurse said as long as she had worked there they had never used a square or rectangle one on anyone.

Unread 12-20-2003, 12:40 PM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

I truly feel for you. When I had my last appt my dr suggested a pessary and I said absolutely not. His reply was, I don't blame you, they're hard to fit and not very comfortable.

I find it very hard to believe an insurance company would deny someone's surgery. Do they think we're doing this for the fun of it? Why would anyone subject themselves to surgery if it's not needed. If someone at the insurance company had stage three prolapse, they'd be writing ok's all day. They have no idea.

Glad to hear you have so many drs on your side. Seems that would be a good sign to the insurance company too. Hang in there girl, someone's going to cave in and write that ok real soon.

Here's prayers you'll receive your approval call quickly. Happy Holidays....we'll be praying for you.
Unread 12-20-2003, 07:09 PM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

Before my hyst. gp sent me to a gyn who tried a pessary. Before she would do surgery. Thank goodness it was a womam. To lay in sturips for 30 to 40 minutes and have someone insert things to find the right size was just sooo awful. She was so kind and talked to me and explained everything as she went. She told me that I could take it out to clean it myself. Well the one that fit wouldn't stay in place, my prolapse was so bad. The 5 minutes it was in place was so uncomfortable, I wanted to cry. So she sent me to a urogyn for surgery. Maybe if yours doesn't stay where it belongs it might make a difference.

With so many on your side , prayers for a quick response for your surgery.
Unread 12-22-2003, 02:24 PM
Fitted for a pessary & I am disgusted!!

I absolutely can't believe this - especially for a 30 year old. I have to say I don't think I'd stand still for it. If appealing the decision through your insurance company doesn't work you might try getting your doctor to write a letter to the insurance company or having an attorney write a letter for you. I work in the legal field and see insurance companies try to do this to people all the time.

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