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Myths tackled - What is a Vaginal Pessary?

A vaginal pessary can be used in a woman's personal

Do you know what a vaginal pessary is? You may come across it when buying some feminine treatment; or your doctor prescribes it for a condition affecting your vagina. In this article, we explain what it is, when you can use it and how.


What is a Vaginal Pessary?

Simply put, its a method of introducing medication into the vagina.

The biggest benefit for using a vaginal pessary is that it allows the medicine or drug to easily penetrate the vaginal tissue and treat conditions affecting the vagina.

The vagina tissue has a rich supply of blood vessels.

This means that medicines applied in the vagina can be quickly spread through the rich blood supply.


Conditions for Using a Vaginal Pessary

Here are some conditions affecting the vagina that will be satisfactorily treated with a vaginal pessary.

  • Vaginal thrush or candida.
    • Caused by a fungal infection of the vagina with the fungus Candida albicans
    • Can occur commonly in pregnancy, Diabetes or from poor personal hygiene.
    • Antifungal drugs treat fungal infections - by applications to the vaginal area with cream or inside the vagina using pessary; they are also taken by mouth.
  • Dryness in the vagina from loss of Oestrogen
    • This happens from menopause as a woman grows older and the level of oestrogen falls.
    • It can also happen in younger women - this is 'premature' menopause.
    • Dryness can be treated with Oestrogen cream or gel applied through a vaginal pessary.
  • Induction of labour
    • If a pregnant woman is past her due date; or there is a risk to mum or baby, the next step would be to artificially 'provoke' or stimulate labour.
    • This is called induction of labour.
      • Briefly, it includes the process of ripening (softening) the cervix (neck of the womb) for delivery of the baby.
      • Your doctor or nurse will perform an internal examination where they will sweep their fingers across the cervix to try and release some hormones which stimulate labour.
      • If labour does not result, they will insert medication to the vagina - usually in the form of a pessary/capsule that works locally around the cervix to provoke labour.


Is Using a Vaginal Pessary Painful?

No - vaginal pessaries either come in the form of small capsules or are a cream/suspension which you can apply with a specially designed applicator.


How can I use a vaginal pessary?

For treating conditions like vaginal candidiasis or dryness, ladies can self administer the pessary.

  • Most times it is best to remain in a lying position for a prolonged period after applying the pessary.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Lying on your back, open the lips of the vagina and gently push the pessary into the vagina as far up as you can.
  • If using an applicator, follow the directions, gently inserting the applicator and releasing the dose of medicine.
  • In many cases, it is similar to inserting a tampon.
  • Always follow the dosing and application instructions to ensure proper treatment.


Help with Using Pessaries

Most women will use a vaginal pessary at some time in their lives - knowing why and how to do so properly will improve your condition quickly.

If you would like to know more about vaginal pessaries, email us, or drop a comment below.

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team

Disclaimer

All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through info@askawayhealth.org


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