A pessary is a removable prosthetic device inserted into the vagina to reduce the protrusion of pelvic structures into the vagina. They are used as a nonsurgical approach to treat pelvic organ prolapse, stress urinary incontinence, cystocele, rectocele, uterine prolapse, and other conditions.
A variety of pessaries are available, including the ring, inflatable, doughnut, and Gellhorn.
You may need to experiment with different kinds of pessaries to find the one that works for you. Your physician will instruct you on how to remove, clean, and reinsert the pessary to keep it properly clean and ensure it is functioning correctly.
Pessaries are sometimes also used to treat uterine prolapse in women during pregnancy. In this case, the pessary holds the uterus in the correct position before it enlarges and becomes trapped in the vaginal canal.
While not a cure, pessaries help manage and slow the progression of prolapse.
Risks: Open sores in vaginal wall, bleeding, wearing away of the vaginal wall—can lead to fistula to form–, and bulging of the rectum against the vaginal wall (rectocele formation). Complications are minimized by having a pessary that fits correctly and does not put too much pressure on the vaginal wall.
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