A pessary is a small plastic or silicone device. It is placed into the vagina and held in place by
the pelvic floor muscles. It provides support for pelvic prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
The Pessary works by applying pressure to the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the
bladder) against the pubic bone. It also supports the lower part of the bladder.
Sometimes pessaries can be used instead of surgery. Pelvic prolapse is a weakness in the muscles
that hold your bladder, uterus, and rectum in place. This muscle weakness may allow these
organs to bulge into the vagina.
This may be caused by:
ξ Excess weight
ξ Chronic constipation
ξ Chronic cough
ξ Repeated heavy lifting
Choosing the right Pessary depends on your condition . Your doctor or nurse practitioner may
need to try several sizes or styles during the fitting.
After fitting, you will need to have follow-up visits.
You must be able to insert and remove the pessary yourself.
Most pessaries can be left in place during sex. Talk to your doctor or NP.
If your pessary has metal parts it will need to be taken out before some tests, such as MRI or
You may notice slight bleeding when you take out the pessary. You may need to use
estrogen or other cream. This can help to keep the vaginal walls healthy.
It is okay to use a pessary if you use the Estring . Be sure to insert the Estring before the
pessary. Replace the Estring every 3 months.
If your weight changes more than 10 pounds you may need to be re-sized.
If the pessary shows signs of wear or defects you will need a new one.
Return to the clinic after 1 week after fitting so that the fit can be rechecked. The pessary
will be removed and the vagina will be examined for irritation or allergic reaction.
Return in 2 weeks and 6 months. Some patients may need to return to the clinic more often
Yearly exam of vaginal wall.
Call if the pessary falls out and you are unable to replace it.
Most pessaries can be worn for many days to months before they have to be taken out and
Clean with mild soap and warm water. Rinse well and reinsert. Use estrogen or other cream
at least 2 nights a week, or when the pessary is out
The pessary may fall out of the vagina if you strain or lift something. Try not to bear down
during bowel movements. If the pessary dislodges, it can be reinserted after cleaning with
soap and water.
Insertion may be easier while standing with your foot resting on a stool. Other choices are
while sitting on the toilet or lying on your back. Make sure to use enough water-based
lubricant with insertion.
Pessary Type: __________________________________________
Pessary Size: ___________________________________________
When to Call the Doctor
ξ Pain passing urine.
ξ Pain with bowel movements.
ξ Problems passing urine.
ξ Problems having bowels movements.
ξ Excess or foul discharge from vagina.
ξ Bloody discharge
ξ Pain, pressure, or itching in the vagina.
ξ Fever or chills
ξ Abdominal pain
Urology Clinic: (608) 263-4757
After hours, weekends and holidays this connects to the message center.
Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. ________________________________________.
Leave your name and phone number with area code and the doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1-800-323-8942
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright 4/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5477