Pessaries

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Did you know that Dr. Spurlock is board-certified urogynecologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery? In the same friendly, relaxed, patient-oriented environment as our medical spa, Dr. Spurlock and his medical staff have helped countless women with bladder and pelvic floor issues for over 25 years. 

One of the most common medical problems treated by Dr. Spurlock is pelvic organ prolapse. This occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs become weakened and loosen which then allows one or more pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, and rectum) press into or out of the vagina. While many patients believe major surgery in the only option for treating pelvic organ prolapse, there is a non-surgical alternative called a pessary. 

A pessary is a medical device that is fitted into the vagina to support the prolapsed vagina tissues that result from pelvic organ prolapse. A pessary can also help women with stress incontinence (leakage when they sneeze, exercise, or strain). There are several types of pessaries, all of which are made out of silicone, and they type is chosen based on the severity of the prolapse. Depending on the patient, it may take several fittings to find the pessary size and shape that fits best, but it is entirely normal to have to try a few before the correct pessary is found. A pelvic exam will determine what type of prolapse the patient has and to what degree it is. It is important to have a properly-sized pessary inserted as one that is too small can fall out and one that is too large may cause pressure and discomfort. 

Once the correct pessary has been fitted for the patient, it will require routine maintenance which can either be done by the patient (with certain pessaries that are easier to remove like a ring pessary) or by the provider in the office. Our patients typically come every three months for a pessary cleaning and replace older pessaries for new ones as necessary. This visit usually takes less than 15 minutes so it's a quick procedure!

If surgery is not soemthing you're interested in or you may not be a good candidate for sugery, a pessary is great non-surgical option to help you regain some freedom and comfort in your body.  As always, call your doctor is you're experiencing any pain, discomfort or discharge that is pinkish or has an odor, as it may mean the pessary doesn't have the proper fit and needs to be removed and refitted. 

Our staff is always here to help answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding pessaries, prolapse or any other pelvic floor issues you may be experiencing. 

Author
Katie Rymon Katie is the office manager for Allure Medical Spa and Laser Center and the Continence Management Institute. She has two small children and in her free time enjoys running, reading, and baking.

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