A pessary may be the right solution for you if you have a pelvic floor prolapse. The team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta diagnose pelvic floor prolapse and offer personalized treatments to keep your pelvic organs in place and relieve your symptoms.
What Is a Pessary and How Does It Work?
A vaginal pessary is a soft, removable device that is placed into the vagina. It is designed to support areas of pelvic organ prolapse and can also be used to help with stress urinary incontinence. In many cases, it prevents women from needing pelvic surgery.
Pelvic organ prolapse can represent a lack of support of the uterus or the vaginal walls. There can be combinations of uterine and vaginal prolapse as well.
Vaginal wall defects are named by the location of the defect. Rectocele and enterocele refer to defects in the posterior vaginal wall near the rectum, while defects of the anterior vaginal wall near the bladder are called cystocele.
What Are the Different Types of Pessaries?
Many pessaries are made out of silicone because of their harmless, soft, and nonabsorbent properties. Types of vaginal pessaries include:
- Ring Pessary. Also known as an incontinence ring, this is the most commonly used pessary. It is a circular device that can easily be inserted and removed without assistance from the doctor.
- Gehrung Pessary. If you have a more advanced uterine prolapse, this U-shaped device may be used and is molded specifically to fit its user.
- Gellhorn Pessary. This device is used for a more severe prolapse. It is disk-shaped with a small knob in the middle.
- Cube Pessary. This device is used for advanced-stage prolapse. It uses suction to support the affected areas of the vagina wall.
How Is a Pessary Inserted?
If you have a ring pessary, you may decide to insert it on your own. All other pessaries are usually inserted with the help of your healthcare provider.
If you have a ring pessary, you should remove it and clean it every night or every week. It should then be cleaned with mild soap with water. The device should be rinsed and dried completely before you reinsert it into your vagina.
If you have another type of pessary, you will need your doctor to remove it. You will be scheduled to visit your doctor at intervals between 1 and 3 months to have it taken out and cleaned.
Is a Pessary Painful?
You may feel some discomfort, but it shouldn’t be painful. After the fitting, you will be encouraged to walk around for 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that it doesn’t fall out and that you can pass urine.
If the pessary is painful or causes any other problems, then you can try a different size. It’s important to use a pessary that fits well. Otherwise, it can cause abrasions to the vaginal wall.
If you are comfortable with the pessary, you may go home and continue normal daily activities. However, you may experience increased vaginal discharge.
The expertly trained urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta can accurately identify and diagnose pelvic floor prolapse and offer tailored treatments to keep your pelvic organs in place and relieve your symptoms.
Call or make an appointment online for expert urological care. They have offices throughout Metro Atlanta, including Sandy Springs.