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Pink and Gray

Pessary Fitting

Lidder Therapies offers a vaginal pessary fitting service in Hitchin for post natal recovery,
prolapse and stress incontinence.

What is a pessary and how does it work?

A vaginal pessary is a device that goes inside the vagina to help support the organs. It may be used as part of your post natal recovery or to support a prolapsed womb and/or vaginal walls when there is a pelvic organ prolapse. A pessary could also be considered to help with incontinence. A pessary is a conservative, low risk alternative to surgical options or can be used while awaiting surgery. Vaginal pessaries come in various shapes and sizes and we will show you the options of which pessaries are appropriate for you. When fitted correctly a pessary should not be felt at all or painful. 


Some pessaries are left in place for up to 6 months and some are removed daily. Some women will wear a pessary every day and some only when they are active or exercising. Your pessary assessment and management programme is bespoke to you, your lifestyle and your symptoms. 

Milex pessaries.png
Lidder Therapies, Physiotherapy, Hitchin

Who is Pessary Fitting For?

A pessary is suitable for you if you are wishing to use one for post-natal recovery, incontinence or to support a mild to moderate prolapse. Descent of the organs or a prolapse and/or incontinence can be caused by childbirth, having a chronic cough and/or straining on the toilet or alternatively due to the ageing process. Symptoms you may experience are a feeling of heaviness or bulging around the vagina/ incontinence, frequency and/or the inability to evacuate the bowels effectively. A pessary may be used alongside lifestyle adaptations and pelvic floor exercises to effectively manage your symptoms. 

What is Included in a Pessary Fitting appointment? 

  • An assessment of your pelvic floor strength and function, including any prolapse.

  • Pessary fitting is trial and error and the first one may not be the best fit 

  • Once fitted you will be asked to stand up, cough, squat, go for a walk and empty your bladder 

  • Self-practice of insertion and removal of pessary

  • Advice and information on the use and care of your silicone pessary and trouble shooting

  • A letter to your GP explaining the fitting and ongoing management plan.


What other appointments are needed? 

  • You will require an initial 1 hour full pelvic floor assessment to establish your baseline prolapse, pelvic floor strength, sizing and suitability for a pessary prior to your pessary fitting appointment

  • You will be provided with information on pessaries and self management so that you can be sure this is the right management for you symptoms 

  • Following your fitting you will need to attend for a review 2 weeks later and then every 4-6 months for a check up and pessary change if appropriate. Sometimes a different size or shape of pessary will have to be fitted, as things may improve or change over time. This care can be transferred to your GP or NHS provider. 

What are the Side Effects of Pessary Fittings?

Side effects of using a pessary under the correct instructions, with the correct follow up are very low. You will be shown how to remove the pessary if you are experiencing any problems. You may experience more vaginal discharge than normal. Vaginal irritation is another possible side effect. Women may need to use oestrogen cream (this should be prescribed by a GP and used for 2-4 weeks prior to attending the appointment).

If you have an offensive vaginal odour, copious amounts of discharge or unexplained pain or bleeding, you should immediately remove the pessary and contact your health care provider.

Will a Pessary Work for Me?

Everyone’s anatomy and birthing history is different. There may be some pessaries that are not right for you, based upon your history. Some prolapses may also be too severe to support the pessaries we have in stock.  If you are unsure whether a pessary is suitable for you we can discuss this at your first visit. Pessaries are not suitable for those who have had mesh in a previous pelvic surgery.


Who else can fit a vaginal pessary? 

As well as a pelvic health physiotherapist trained in pessary fitting, a pessary can also be fitted by your GP, gynaecologist or specialist nurse. 


If you are unsure how we can help or what treatment you require please get in touch


I didn’t expect the whole process to be so easy or solve my prolapse issues. Definitely worth trying before surgery. I didn't even know the pessary was there!

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