A pessary provides an effective nonsurgical alternative for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. Dr. Teresa Tam of All for Women Healthcare in Chicago and Skokie, Illinois, offer a complete array of care options for women who use pessaries, including evaluation, fitting, and pessary care to make using a pessary as simple and effective as possible.
A pessary is a device that is worn in the vagina to help support the pelvic organs in women who have pelvic organ prolapse. Different types of pessaries are available that can be sized to fit each woman comfortably, based on each patient’s needs.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when an organ in the lower belly (such as the bladder or uterus) descends or “drops” from its normal position to a lower position and begins pressing against the vagina, sometimes causing the vagina to bulge outward. Prolapse often occurs in women who have had multiple children and in those whose pelvic muscles have been damaged by trauma or surgery.
A pessary works by providing support against the vaginal walls to help hold the pelvic organs in place. Pessaries can be removed at home for cleaning (then placed back in the vagina by the patient), or they may remain in place for longer periods of time and then be replaced by the doctor. As an alternative to surgery, pessaries can be an ideal choice for women who are not finished having children or for those for whom surgery is not the best choice, including women with chronic medical issues like heart disease. Pessaries may also be used in some pregnant women at risk for uterine prolapse.
No, pessaries are designed to mitigate the effects or symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, including vaginal pressure and discomfort, especially during intercourse or when sitting for long periods of time. Pessaries may also help alleviate symptoms of incontinence in some patients.
Some women find their vaginal walls become sore or irritated as a result of pessary use, and in a few cases, the rectum may bulge inward toward the vaginal wall (a condition called a rectocele). Women who use pessaries should have regular office visits to ensure their vaginal walls remain healthy and to adjust and maintain the pessary as needed.
We accept several insurance plans from many different providers. If you do not see your provider listed here, please give us a call and we will let you know if you are covered.
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