The pessary is a device that is placed into the vagina to support the uterus or bladder and rectum. It is a firm ring that presses against the wall of the vagina and urethra to help decrease urine leakage. The type and size of the pessary should be fitted to meet your individual needs and anatomy. A properly fitted pessary is not noticeable when it is in place.
If you have sensations of pressure or rubbing with continued wear of the pessary, or if you notice any unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting, call your health care provider immediately. It is not unusual to have to change the shape or size of the pessary after the initial fitting or even after continued wear. This is why it is important to keep your regularly scheduled clinic appointments.
You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge or secretions with pessary use. However, the pessary is made of silicon rubber and does not absorb odors or secretions. The UCSF Women's Continence Center recommends only external cleansing. Do not douche or use vaginal products unless they are specifically given to you by your health care provider.
Caring for a pessary is easy. Pessaries can be left in place for up to a week and removed for periodic easy cleaning. Some women choose to remove the pessary nightly before bed and replace it in the morning. It can be left in during intercourse if this is comfortable for you.
Bearing down as if you are having a bowel movement can help push the rim of the pessary forward so you can grasp it more easily.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
Women's Continence Center
2356 Sutter St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-1754
Phone: (415) 885-7788
Toll-free: (877) 366-8532
Fax: (415) 353-9550