What is Pessary Fitting and Insertion?
A pessary is a device used to support the uterus or bladder and rectum. It is a small, firm ring placed in the vagina which presses against the vaginal walls and can reduce urine leakage for some patients. Pessaries must be properly fitted according to your unique anatomy and needs. If you choose to try a pessary, your gynecologist will determine the correct size device for you, insert the pessary, and teach you how to remove and insert the pessary yourself.
When is a Pessary Fitting and Insertion Necessary?
Pessaries are used to treat two types of urinary incontinence: pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The device is a relatively simple, cost-effective, and non-surgical solution to these issues for many women. For patients who are post-menopausal, pessary fitting and insertion generally follows topical estrogen treatment or other types of hormone therapy. Pessaries are only suitable for patients who are comfortable with placing a foreign object in the vagina and cleaning the device regularly.
The Pessary Fitting and Insertion Procedure
During a pessary fitting procedure, your gynecologist will use a series of fitting rings to determine the correct size pessary for you. First, the gynecologist inserts two fingers into the vagina to determine an approximate size before inserting a fitting ring similar in size. When your gynecologist determines which size ring seems to be the best match, you will be asked to walk around the office with the ring inserted to ensure that it fits properly and does not cause discomfort. Your gynecologist may also test different styles of pessaries to choose the best option for you.
When the right pessary has been selected, your gynecologist will then explain how to insert and clean the device yourself. About a week after this initial appointment, you will return to the office to check the fit and ensure that the pessary is not irritating the vagina or causing any other complications.
Caring for a Pessary
After your fitting and insertion appointments, you can care for your pessary at home according to your gynecologist’s directions. Most patients remove their pessary one to two times per week to thoroughly cleanse the device with mild soap and warm water. Once cleansed and rinsed, the pessary can be reinserted. Your gynecologist may prescribe a vaginal estrogen cream to prevent irritation if necessary.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are suffering with urinary incontinence, a pessary may help stop leaking. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a gynecologist at Carnegie Women’s Health in Manhattan by calling (315) 628-7063 or contact us online.