Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Myths tackled – What is a Vaginal Pessary?

December 27, 2019

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


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

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.