A vaginal pessary can take a number of different forms, including doughnut-shaped devices; horn-shaped varieties, known as Gellhorns; and tube-like insertions with bulbous ends that work as inflatable devices, as noted through images available on WebMD. The removable devices, designed to support the pelvic region in the event of organ prolapse, vary in shape depending on the individual needs of patients.
As of 2015, images of vaginal pessaries are available on WebMD in addition to a short animation demonstrating the various complications that may require pelvic prolapse repair. Patients may need to experiment with the different shapes of vaginal pessaries in order to determine which pessary option is the most comfortable and fitting for their needs, according to WebMD.
Aside from pelvic prolapse, vaginal pessaries may also serve as nonsurgical options for other gynecologic conditions, such as an improperly positioned uterus. Although pessaries should not be considered a cure, they can slow the progression of pelvic organ prolapse and make the condition more manageable. Possible side-effects that can result from the use of a vaginal pessary include open sores in the vaginal wall, bleeding, deterioration of the vaginal wall and rectocele formation, which is the bulging of the rectum against the vaginal wall, as WebMD describes.