How a Pessary Helps with Stress Incontinence

As muscles lose their flexibility and strength, often the ensuing result is incontinence. A device to help support sagging or weakened internal organs like the bladder and the uterus is called a pessary. This device is inserted into the vagina, and it offers internal support to these compromised internal organs. The only type of incontinence that a pessary will help is stress incontinence, which is incontinence that occurs as a result of anything pressing on the bladder. The types of pressure that might cause stress incontinence are exerting to lift a heavy object, exercising, laughing, coughing or sneezing. The sudden pressure exerted on the bladder forces small amounts of urine to escape the bladder involuntarily. A pessary does not offer any relief for urge incontinence or overflow incontinence, because their root causes are different.

Available in many different sizes and shapes, a pessary device is fitted by a physician so that it properly supports the internal organs. Years ago, a pessary was one of the only solutions for women suffering from stress incontinence. While they are used less frequently today than in years gone by, they still have a place in modern day medicine. When medication or surgery is not an option, a pessary may be a viable solution.

A pessary must be removed on a regular basis to be cleaned, and while some women can perform this routine maintenance themselves others will have their doctor or nurse perform this function. Since a pessary is not a permanent solution, a woman can try it and simply stop using it if it does not yield the desired results. When a pessary is first inserted, a woman’s doctor will likely check it several times to make sure that it is holding its fit. For some women a pessary may actually make their incontinence problem worse as organs are forced back into their proper positions. However, for stress incontinence, this device generally offers relief and may be a workable solution for an inconvenient incontinence problem.

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