Vaginal prolapse is a common condition where the bladder, bowel or womb descend into the vagina.
> the sensation of a vaginal lump
> difficulty emptying the bowel or bladder
> problems with sexual intercourse.
Treatment is recommended when you are experiencing symptoms. There are a number of ways that vaginal prolapse can be treated. This fact sheet is about vaginal pessary. This treatment will not be suitable for all women.
A vaginal pessary is a device which supports the vagina. It needs to be changed every three to six months. Vaginal pessaries have been proven to be as successful as surgery in relieving prolapse symptoms. You and your doctor will discuss the most suitable option for you.
The pessary sits high inside the vagina. When it is in the correct position you should not be able to feel it. After the pessary has been inserted you can resume all of your normal day to day activity, including sexual activity. In fact the pessary should improve your ability to be active as it supports the prolapse and should make you feel more comfortable.
If you feel the pessary is not working well, it can easily be removed. The pessaries are made from long lasting plastic and you do not need to change them yourself.
The pessary is easy to insert. It is inserted through your vagina.
The continence physiotherapist can insert the pessary at your visit- no anaesthetic is required.
Sometimes a number of sizes need to be tried to find the right size for you. The wrong size may fall out. If this happens you can dispose of the pessary and contact your physio for another appointment.
Very rarely the pessary causes pressure areas in the vagina. It is important that you see your doctor every six- twelve months to do a speculum & check the vagina. Please tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
> Yellow, green or brown vaginal discharge (bacterial vaginosis)
> Worsening urinary incontinence
> Abdominal pain.
There is no risk of the pessary being lost inside the vagina.
You may need to use some oestrogen cream in the vagina. This will keep the vagina healthy while the pessary is in place.
It is essential that you book a follow up appointment after 1 week, 3 weeks, & 3 months- to check the status of the pessary and ensure it is the correct fit and there are no complications. You may also like to consider learning how to remove and insert the pessary yourself which will require an extra session earlier on.