Positive experience of pessaries wanted!

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi, I'm hoping some of you have advice you can offer about pessaries, preferably from those who recommend them!

I'm on a 2 year waiting list for sarcocolpopexy ( think that's it! Vaginal vault.......occurred 5 months after hysterectomy, anterior and posterior repairs ).

My urogynaecologist has recommended a pessary to relieve symptoms while I wait for op. I've just received an appointment to be fitted with one....next Wednesday, and I'm panicking! First of all, I'm an absolute woose about pain, and squeamish about looking at, or feeling, " my bits!" After 3 children, a long time ago, you'd think I should have more sense!

Scared of insertion, petrified of it dislodging, and no idea how I'd cope if I had to remove it myself! Worried what would happen if I was on holiday, or a distance from home!

Most of all, it would only be helpful if it eased the pressure on my rectum which is my main problem. I can cope with the full feeling in my vagina.

So, anyone out there able to advise? Any help appreciated. I'm very aware from reading the many distressing posts, that there are many more girls/ladies out there in a lot more pain than I am. Big hugs to all. X

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Don't panic!  The fitting of a pessary is swift, straightforward and painless, though modesty is out of the window!  Just send your mind elsewhere and pretend your nether regions belong to someone else!  It is a routine event for all medics involved and they do make sure you are comfortable.

    The procedure is this:  a quick consultation to make sure all details are correct and to choose the type of pessary, then you will be asked to go into a curtained cubicle, remove your lower garments and lie down on the bed. A sheet is provided for you to drape over your hip area.  The doctor will then ask you to keep your heels together and spread your knees as far apart as is comfortably possible.  The size of pessary you need will be estimated by the doctor (he inserts two fingers to gauge this!), the pessary will then be oiled with Estriol cream and inserted.  It only takes a minute.  After this, they make sure you are comfortable with it in place (you should not be able to feel it) and ask you to go to the loo and pass urine.  If all this is fine, you go home armed with another appointment for its removal in approximately six  months time.  Removal can be more uncomfortable than insertion.

    Be aware that some women just can't tolerate them (me included).  If the pessary gives you pain later, then ring the clinic (make sure you get their number!) or your GP and ask for its removal.

    Good luck and let us know how you go on!


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  • Posted

    Hi I had a pessary fitted whilst I made my mind up about surgery for my triple prolapse. Bladder, bowel and uterus

    Having it fitted was absolutely fine, once in I couldn't feel it (which amazed me it was huge). It definitely lifted everything up and that part was great. However my reason for eventually seeing my GP was leaking, I did a lot of sport, jogging, badminton, step, walking gardening and it was a pain. With the pessary in this was much much worse, my consultant said this could be the case. If I just walked or swam it would have been a good short term solution.

    I am now ten weeks post surgery, anterior and posterior repair, vaginal hysterectomy and the sacrospinous fixation, all at the same time. I hope the fixation will prevent a vault prolapse in the future. It's still early days to say whether it's all worked so I'm waiting!

    So, please don't be afraid of having the pessary fitted, it is worth giving it a try. I have heard that some ladies are not able to hold it in place, despite my prolapses that wasn't a problem. It was the weeing I couldn't live with!

    Good luck. 😃

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  • Posted

    Hi there, it is awful the things we have to go through. Please do not be scared of the pessary. I am 56 and have a gelhorn pessary which i can take in and out myself. I had to try a few different sorts before i found one that suited. Ring, shelf and cube!

    PLease make sure that you have a number of someone you can call if you are not comfortable with whatever they try first, it really is very normal that one might not work first time but it is worth the process as it makes me a lot more comfortable.

    ​NOT perfect though and stilll some discomfort if i stand for long periods or walk too far. swimming is my best exercise and that is comfortable and good to help core strength.

    ​I am possibly having anterior repair next year. ( Had hysterectomy for fibroids and anterior repair in 2014)

    Hope you get sorted

    xo ruth

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  • Posted

    Hi - hope the following will help. I have been going backwards and forwards to the clinic as I have tried a number of different vaginal pessaries. Some fitted well, others fell out after a day or so, one other stayed in for about three molenths before deciding it didn't like me any more, and fell out. I have had two different shelf pessaries, the latest was fitted about a week ago, a Gellhorn, and appears to be staying put. It is reasonably comfortable although I did take a few days to get used to it. 

    As for the actually fitting, that isn't a problem really. I gave up worrying about modesty ages ago, and as has been described, you just lay on your back with your legs apart while the doctor fits it. Generally they make sure it is comfortable, you have to cough, stand and walk around for a little while to check that it is ok, before leaing the clinic. It certainly feels better having the pessary in place as I don't feel as though everything is dropping. This way I can carry on with my normal activities without worrying. The latest one, does appear to give me one problem which is a bit of a bore, I often feel I need to go to do a wee more frequently. As I had problems in retaining previous pessaries, I am being extremely careful when having   a BM and not straining. Recommendation was not to become constipated so that i wouldn't need to strain.

    But do go for a pessary while you wait for the operation; it will help. Also do your pelvic floor exercises; that will also help too.

    Best of luck


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    • Posted

      Many thanks to you, and to Ruth, Sheila and Pam!

      So good of you all to reply with useful info. I loved Pam's advice to pretend my nether regions belong to someone else!

      l still have visions of it flying down the loo if I push too hard!!

      I'll let you all know how I get on next Wed. At least this time next week it will be over! X

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    • Posted

      Hi, not sure if you'll all realise this post FOLLOWS the one below!

      Promised I'd report back on pessary appt. Well, as uncomfortable as I'd expected but the nurse was so understanding I lost all embarrassment!!

      First one she tried was just too sore to proceed so she tried a size smaller. Once in place I really couldn't feel it! It stays in ( unless I have a problem with it) until next appt. in 3 months. I've been assured I can phone anytime if I have a problem so it's fingers crossed from now on!

      I feel more comfortable and can walk further as well, so hope to get some of my former energy back. 

      The thought of sex scares me, so he's out to graze for a while!!

      Many thanks for support! X

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