Pessary or more commonly a vaginal pessary refers to a device made of plastic that is supposed to fit in your vagina. The purpose of the pessary is to support the womb (or the uterus) and the bladder/ rectum and the vagina itself. It is basically a firm ring which fits and presses the wall of the vagina to help reduce any urinary leakage. For further information on why do you need to use a pessary and how to use one, refer to the sections below.
Why Use a Pessary?
- It is most often used by those who have a prolapsed uterus, i.e. the uterus sags to droops down into the vaginal cavity/ canal. This happens because the ligaments and muscles of the individual are too weak and cannot on their own support the uterus.
- It is also used when the bladder droops into the vaginal canal (i.e. one has cystocele) or when the walls of the woman’s rectum bulges in the vagina (this is referred to as rectocele).
- Another reason as to why a woman may use a pessary is, if her uterus leaks when she coughs, strains the lower abdomen or even exercises.
How to Insert a Pessary
Follow the steps listed below when you are inserting the pessary:
- The first step in inserting a pessary is to carefully wash your hands with an antiseptic hand wash and scrub out any dirt from your hands.
- The openings of the ring and notches on the inside are all flexible. What you are supposed to do then is, grasp the pessary at its mid and fold it into half. When you do this, the curvy part of the pessary should face the ceiling of the room.
- Now put on a little amount of water-soluble lubricant on the edge of the pessary.
- The next step is- hold onto the pessary with one hand, and with the other spread the edges of your vagina.
- Then gently push in the pessary into the vagina as far back as possible. The postures which will be helpful in inserting the pessary are- the squatting position or the sitting position with both the feet propped up. You can also do this standing up with one of your foot propped up on the toilet or the tub.
How to Remove a Pessary
The steps to be followed when removing the pessary are as follows:
- Just as when you inserted the pessary, it is important to wash and scrub clean your hands when you are removing the pessary.
- To remove the pessary then, you must find the rim of the pessary. It may be situated in near your pubic bone.
- Once you have reached the rim, try and locate the notch of the pessary. Then hook onto the pessary with your fingers.
- Now tilt the pessary and gently pull it out. For the purposes of making it easy to remove the pessary you can again fold the pessary as close to halves as possible.