What is a pessary?
A pessary is a silicone devise that fits into the vagina to help support a pelvic organ prolapse. A pelvic organ prolapse is defined as the symptomatic dropping of one or more of the pelvic organs ( bladder, womb, rectum). They can give symptoms of heaviness, vaginal bulge, perineal pressure, lower back/pelvic pain and can cause difficulty in emptying the bladder or bowel.
Why consider having a pessary?
Alongside Pelvic Floor Exercises, weight loss and other lifestyle adaptations, a pessary can be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse. They can be worn all the time, or used when symptomatic, such as when exercising. The Physiotherapist will discuss your personal needs and
match you with the right pessary management programme.
Fitting the pessary
The initial consultation will involve a full assessment of your pelvic floor issues. The Physiotherapist will discuss which pessary she feels is right for you given your symptoms. The pessary has to be fitted correctly and it may take several
tries to get the right one.
After the first fitting you will need to return to clinic 2 weeks later to have the pessary checked. You will then need to return to clinic after 3-6 months and at longer intervals after that, as long as you use the device. You GP will be informed via letter that you have had a pessary fitted.
Are there any side effects?
A pessary is considered a low risk medical device, but there are some side effects that you should be aware of. They include an increase in vaginal discharge for some and rarely bleeding. Some women who are menopausal will need to use local oestrogen cream in order to use a pessary. Pessaries aren’t suitable for everyone, but around 85% of women will have success and find them helpful in giving their quality of life back. For a small amount of women, a pessary wont
produce the desired effect.
If you are interested in seeing if a pessary is right for you, call to discuss in further detail.