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Pelvic Organ Prolapse & Pessary 101

Posted in Pre-Natal & Post-Partum, General

Pelvic Organ Prolapse & Pessary 101

What is pelvic organ prolapse and how can a pessary help?

Quick Facts

  • A pessary is a removable device inserted into the vagina to avoid projections (‘downward pressure’) of internal pelvic organs.
    • Bladder, uterus, or rectum.
    • Can help with incontinence as well.
  • Many types of pessary exist, and while available in several varieties (shapes/size/purpose), they are ‘fitted’ to each woman’s fit and needs.
  • Pessaries are made from medical grade plastic, silicone or rubber.
  • Can be used after a hysterectomy.

Ideal Candidate

  • If you suffer from a pelvic organ prolapse, which is when a pelvic organ ‘drops’ out of its original place.
  • Typically used in place of surgery or as a pre-surgery management strategy.
  • Suitable option for women still planning on bearing children.

Possible Causes for Prolapse and Subsequent Pessary Benefit

  • Pregnancy and/or difficulties during labour.
  • Menopause and/or decrease in estrogen.
  • Chronic constipation and/or chronic cough.
  • Weakness in pelvic muscles.
  • Smoking.

Treatment

  • Hospitals typically have a long wait list for pessary fittings. Certain pelvic physiotherapists have received qualified training, and are helping to alleviate the wait-time and difficulties women face from pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Surgery may be necessary, if pessary use fails to provide adequate support.
  • Our physiotherapy clinic offers pessary fittings and devices, without the standard wait times (2-3 months) of local hospitals.
    • Pessary device: $85.84 + HST
    • Assessment/fitting: $75.00
    • Follow ups (1-2 weeks post insertion, and beyond as advised): $40.00

Effectiveness

  • Pessary is not a cure but is a way to manage the progression of a prolapse.
  • Symptoms can improve, or go away entirely; allowing women support, function, and a better quality of life!
References:
http://www.cfp.ca/content/53/3/424
https://www.healthline.com/health/pessary
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/tv1613
https://www.mdedge.com/obgyn/article/79135/pelvic-floor-dysfunction/pessaries-vaginal-prolapse-critical-factors-successful/page/0/1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27504918

Learn More About Pessary

If you suffer from pelvic organ prolapse or have more questions, do not hesitate to contact the clinic and book a consultation with one our experienced physiotherapists!  

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