Pessary

Body: 

I've had a pessary holding in my prolapsed uterus for about 2 years now. My doctor was going to do a hysterectomy but since the pessary was working so well he said I would be just fine using it--possibly for years. I go in every 3 months to have it checked--in addition to douching and using Trimo-San Jelly 3x's a week.

I'm wondering if I can do the exercises, strengthen my muscles, and not need the pessary? I don't like the idea of this foreign body inside me for the rest of my life! Nothing is "perfectly safe."

I haven't seen any discussion of pessaries in this sight.
thanks.

My urogynecologist fitted me with a ring pessary that has holes. She recommended using unwaxed, plain dental floss looped through a hole and tied in two knots so the floss is outside of the vagina, kind of like the string on a tampon. Tp remove the pessary you can grab onto the string and tug downwards while inserting a finger to pull the edge of the pessary down and out, no need to fold for removal. I only wear the pessary when I have to work at my job which involves standing for 8 hours and it works great. Since my breast cancer was estrogen positive she suggested using KY jelly or water , dime size dab and folding the pessary for insertion which btw takes a lot of hand and finger strength and coordination. The downside is wearing the pessary is an accumulation of what looks like mucus upon removal. I don't know if this is a body reaction to the silicone or not but there is no odor. I insert and remove daily and the floss should be changed frequently. Hope this helps.

I had groin pain and leg pain for 5 months, but have a prolapse for about a couple of years that was aware of maybe longer for I never could use a tampon after my children were born many years ago, My gyno said that prolapse does not cause groin or leg pain. Well I chose to use a pessary for he said a hysterectomy may not be the best option. Well I have had the pessary in for a month now and my pains went away after a few days. I do have to run to the bathroom now as soon as I have a feeling, in the early morning I run to the bathroom about 3 times to try to empty that part I get frusturated with but seems a lot less then before. I need to use a lubricant now because of feeling dry, I use Replen for sometimes I can feel the pessary because of dryness, also I have to hold the pessary in place when doing a BM. Would this mean the pessary could be the wrong size, feeling great otherwise

Hi Baby Boomer - we don't have too many active members who are pessary users; pessaries can aggravate and worsen prolapse over time, and they don't address the problem (only cover up the symptoms). This is the Whole Woman site so we might suggest you take a look at our natural, postural approach to managing prolapse and incontinence. Apart from that advice, I can only say, if pessary is your choice, you may have to keep experimenting to find what feels best to you. - Surviving

What is a good product to use to help clear up irritation of the vagina caused by wearing a pessary? I have to wear one because of vaginal vault prolapse. Have been wearing a pessary since 2014. I use Luvena twice a week. I will never have surgery.

Hello Again All,
It has been almost 1 year since my prolapse occurred, when I was 64. I was fitted with my first ring with support pessary a couple of months later. It was somewhat uncomfortable and not fully effective, but it did allow me to get some of my active and athletic life back. Six months in a new Dr fit me with the right size ring with support pessary for me. I can't do everything I used to do, but I can do much. No more tennis, running and mountain hiking; but golf, long walks and forest hiking are fine. I can't do all of the yoga positions I used to do, but I can do many of them, or I adapt the position to make it work for me. I can't lift my kayak in and out of the water but I can paddle it once it is in the water. Without the pessary I can not even walk around the block without my bladder dropping into my vagina. I do practice WW posture and breathing every day, both are getting easier and feeling more natural. I also follow Christine's three yoga CDs weekly. I remove the pessary for cleaning and to let my vaginal tissues rest one night each week. It is a little uncomfortable taking it out and putting it back in. I use a very small amount of estradiol cream overnight that night. I do worry about the pressure the pessary puts on my vaginal tissues. I also do not like using the estradiol cream, I do not like to use any drugs
Overall using the pessary has worked well for me. It seems WW does not endorse using a pessary. Perhaps my few questions will help me understand WW's caution.
Can a pessary be used for many years, even 20 or 30 years?
Can a pessary be used without the very small amount of estradiol cream I use?
Will the pressure the pessary causes damage my vaginal tissue?
Would taking the pessary out overnight more often help with the pressure?
Would taking the pessary out more overnights per week take even more of a toll on my vagina?
Anything else I should be aware of going forward?
Thanks!

Hi Miss Willy - if you have read the Forum guidelines, then you know that we are not here to debate or defend Whole Woman teachings......they are here for you to use or not. That being said, I will say a few things (and this is from someone who has never used a pessary and never would consider it, and who has been managing cystocele and rectocele for 10 years with WW posture and tools).

Pessaries can aggravate prolapse, and there is some evidence that they can trigger new onset rectocele. They hold the vagina open, when the objective of WW posture is to maintain it as a closed, airless space so that the organs are kept out of that space. Christine does state that a ring-with-support is probably the best choice here, because it lays fairly flat.

I cannot tell you what 20 or 30 years of pessary wearing will do. But a bladder prolapse (assuming you still have your uterus, which you haven't revealed) is very manageable with the WW work and there is no reason why you can't play tennis, run, and hike. Walking is about the best exercise you can do for prolapse.....and I'm talking about relaxed, deliberate, mindful walking in WW posture. It sounds like your pessary is masking symptoms some of the time, but not allowing you to do everything you want to. Without the pessary, you can learn to read and control those symptoms.

I don't really know if you have given Woman Woman a fair shot. Wearing a pessary all the time makes it impossible to learn the concepts. It is a great crutch for women who, early on, have a tremendous fear of the bulge. But you will never advance and be able to move on and ditch all that bother right out of your life.

What is the purpose of the estradiol application on the night you are sleeping without the pessary?

Not to repeat myself, but it is relevant for us to know if you have had hysterectomy, because this radically alters the pelvic dynamics.

Christine herself gave quite a substantial response to your previous post. This forum is a two-way street so please don't disregard our efforts to help and explain. - Surviving

Thank you.
Yes, I do have my uterus.
The very small dose estradiol cream once per week improves vaginal atrophy which in turn supports use of the pessary.
I walk my dog up to 2 hours each day, and I walk the golf course 3 times per week. Long walks are a great pleasure.
What I fear is not being fully physically active, as I have been my whole life. The first two months after prolapse and before pessary were miserable. Unless I was lying down, my bladder was constantly slipping in to my vagina, even while doing very little around the house. The pessary has allowed me to live a much more active life again.
I am concerned about the pessary aggravating my prolapse, and I am especially concerned about new onset rectocele. I prefer to manage all health issues naturally, with exercise and good food choices, and without medication. I agree I have probably not given WW a fair shot in that I have not employed WW practices without the crutch of the pessary.
i will try low key around the house living without the pessary, and then move on to trying various athletic activities without the pessary. Maybe I will be able to ditch all this bother out of my life. That would be awesome.

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