Pessaries are removable devices that provide support after a prolapse. Prolapses happen when the walls of the uterus or vagina become weak, which can happen with age or after childbirth. Your organs can drop out of place during a prolapse. A pessary is often used as a non-surgical treatment option for a prolapse. These devices can be made of rubber or plastic.
What is a pessary?
What is prolapse?
Prolapse of the uterus (womb) or vaginal walls happen when there are weaknesses in the supporting structures of the pelvis. These supporting structures are called the pelvic floor muscles. They hold the organs in your pelvis in place and give them stability. Over time, however, they can grow weak and begin to loosen. When a prolapse happens, the organs sag and drop out of place and can cause several uncomfortable symptoms.
The weaknesses that cause prolapse can be related be several factors, including:
• Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth.
• Heavy lifting.
• Frequent straining.
If your prolapse is causing symptoms, you may need treatment.
What types of pessaries are available?
Different types and sizes of pessaries are available. Most pessaries are made of silicone which is a soft, non-absorbent material. Some pessaries can be removed and replaced by the patient while others require a healthcare provider to remove and reinsert the pessary. As long as the pessary is fitting properly, it can be used for years. At times, a pessary may become discoloured, this is normal and does not mean that the pessary needs to be replaced.
Specific types of pessaries include:
• Ring pessary.
• Gehrung pessary.
• Mar-land pessary.
• Gellhorn pessary.
• Donut pessary.
• Cube pessary.
The different types of pessaries can serve different purposes. They are different shapes and sizes, and they range from devices you can insert yourself to ones your healthcare provider will need to help you insert. Your healthcare provider will tell you about the different types of pessaries and discus the best option for you