Pessary Care

Follow Up and Management of Complications

Katharine O'Dell; Shanna Atnip


Urol Nurs. 2012;32(3):126-137, 145. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Successful use of vaginal support pessaries requires provider and patient understanding of expected symptom-relief, potential complications, self-care options, and evaluation and treatment of pessary-related problems. This second article in a three-part series summarizes clinical recommendations and evidence related to pessary management.


Even after a successful pessary fitting, a woman's level of satisfaction and duration of pessary use are difficult to predict. In one qualitative study, successful pessary use was described by participants as a learning process, leading to increasing comfort and confidence (Storey, Ashton, Price, Irving, & Hemmens, 2009). Women initially reported feelings of isolation and embarrassment about pessary use. However, through encouraging interactions with providers, most commonly the office nursing staff, positive attitudes toward wearing a pessary developed during follow up, and visits became anticipated social outings for several users (Storey et al, 2009).

The first article in this series (Atnip & O'Dell, 2012) discussed clinical issues related to initiating support pessary use, including a summary of evidence related to patient and pessary selection, and the likelihood of symptom relief. This article summarizes evidence related to pessary use, follow up, and complications; describes current recommendations for clinical practice where data are not available; and identifies potential areas for future research.


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