is a device that is placed into the vagina to support the uterus and/or
bladder and rectum. While there are many types and shapes, the most commonly
used pessary is a firm ring that presses against the wall of the vagina
and urethra to help decrease leakage and support a prolapsed vagina or
uterus. The type and size of the pessary should be fitted to meet the
needs of your problem and the requirements of your anatomy. A properly
fitted pessary is not noticeable when it is in place.
If you have
sensations of pressure or rubbing with continued wear of the pessary,
or if you notice any unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting, call your health
care provider immediately. It is not unusual to have to change the shape
or size of the pessary after the initial fitting or even after continued
wear. This is why it is important to keep the your regularly scheduled
be aware of an increase in vaginal discharge or secretions with pessary
use. However, the pessary is made of silicon rubber, and does not absorb
odors or secretions. It can be kept in place for up to a week. The UCSF
Women's Continence Center recommends only external cleansing. Do not douche
or use vaginal products unless specifically provided by your health care
a pessary is a skill easily learned. Pessaries can be left in place for
up to a week, and removed for periodic easy cleansing. Some women choose
to remove the pessary nightly before bed and replace it in the morning.
It can be left in during intercourse if this is comfortable for you.
inside the open ring and the openings in the ring-with-support are the
flexible points. Grasp the device midway between these points and fold
the pessary in half. The curved part should be facing the ceiling (like
a taco). Put a small amount of water soluble lubricant (KY Jelly or other
brand) on the insertion edge. Hold the folded pessary in one hand and
spread the lips of your vagina with the other hand. Gently push the pessary
as far back into the vagina as it will go. You can do this squatting,
standing with one foot propped on the tub or toilet, or sitting with your
feet propped up.
rim of the pessary just under the pubic bone at the front of your vagina.
Locate the notch or opening and hook your finger under or over the rim.
Tilt the pessary slightly, about a 30" angle, and gently pull down and
out of the vagina. If you can fold the pessary somewhat, it will ease
the removal. Bearing down as if you are having a bowel movement can help
push the rim of the pessary forward so you can grasp it more easily.