A vaginal pessary is a plastic or rubber ring or small disc that’s inserted in the vagina to support the bladder by pushing it up and back into place.
Most women who use pessaries do so as a temporary alternative to surgery. But some women may use pessaries for years.
A pessary trial can be offered to women with stress urinary incontinence, particularly if there is preference for nonsurgical treatment. Other reasons that your doctor might prescribe a pessary would be:
- Presence of severe medical problems that make the patient a poor surgical candidate.
- Need to delay surgery for several weeks or months.
- Recurrent pelvic organ prolapse or SUI and patient preference for avoidance of repeat surgery.
- Vaginal ulcerations caused by severe pelvic organ prolapse. Reduction of pelvic organ prolapse through use of a pessary and application of vaginal estrogen cream both promote healing of the ulcers within three to six weeks, which is useful prior to surgical repair.
- Desire for future childbearing. The benefit of surgical repair of pelvic organ prolapse may be nullified by subsequent pregnancy and childbirth.