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What is a vaginal pessary?

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Quick Answer

A vaginal pessary is a device that fits inside the vagina to support regions with pelvic organ prolapse, according to WebMD. Pessaries are removable and come in plastic, rubber or silicone materials. Doctors must fit pessaries carefully to obtain positioning that supports pelvic organs without causing discomfort.

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Full Answer

Pessaries treat uterine prolapse or a uterus that is improperly positioned, notes WebMD. Doctors also sometimes use them as a test to see what effect surgery might have on urinary symptoms. Pessaries can help in situations where surgery would be too risky as well. They manage and slow the progression of pelvic organ prolapse, but pessaries do not cure the condition.

Pessaries work by increasing tightness of muscles and tissues in the pelvis, states WebMD. They also provide added support to the vagina. Many women who use a pessary experience improvement in their symptoms, and some women experience complete symptom resolution.

Possible complications of a pessary include wearing of the vaginal wall, open sores in the vagina, bulging of the rectum toward the vagina and bleeding, notes WebMD. Pessaries that fit correctly and do not put excessive pressure on the vaginal wall are less likely to have complications. Doctors should check pessaries frequently.

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