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Pessary Clinic

Sussex Physiotherapy offers a private pessary fitting clinic alongside specialist physiotherapy to help with prolapse symptoms. 

One in Five women experience Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Prolapse can affect women of all ages, common symptoms are:

Feeling a heaviness or weight within the vagina

Experiencing discomfort or pain with sex

Difficulty inserting or retaining period products such as tampons

A sensation of something like a tampon being stuck within the vagina

A visible or palpable bulge 

Incontinence (bladder or bowel)

Difficulty fully emptying bladder and / or bowel 

Specialist Women's Health Physiotherapy can help the symptoms of prolapse and can include assessment for and fitting of a vaginal pessary.

There are different types of pessaries: they are small, discrete devices which support the vaginal walls and can help with many of the symptoms of vaginal prolapse. At Sussex Physiotherapy you will receive a comprehensive assessment and explanation about the different types of pessaries available.

Vaginal pessaries are used inside the vagina to help restore the position of the pelvic organs which have prolapsed. They are usually made of plastic or silicone, and come in a range of sizes and shapes. The choice of pessary is made by the patient and the Specialist Physiotherapist based on they type of prolapse, symptoms, activity levels and whether or not the patients is sexually active. 

Some vaginal pessaries can be left in situ for 3 to 6 months, whilst others can be used as required, for example for exercise or certain activities which aggravate prolapse symptoms. Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help manage symptoms and rehabilitate the pelvic floor, alongside wearing a vaginal pessary. 

Some individuals use vaginal pessaries long term, some whilst they are awaiting surgery and some during a period of rehabilitation to provide additional support.

Pessary Fitting Specialist

I feel so much better, worlds away than I did a few months ago. Quality of life massively changed thanks to you. 

Pessaries for prolapse

Am so glad I reached out, I feel better already knowing I have options of pessaries to try.

Exercise with prolapse

I feel like the old me, I can exercise and move with freedom and confidence for the first time in years!

Do I need a referral?

Yes - you will need to first book an Initial Physiotherapy Assessment to determine your suitability for a pessary trial, or provide a comprehensive referral from a Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Gynaecologist or referring medical professional. 

What to expect in a Pessary Fitting Appointment

The appointment will take up to 1.25 hours and costs £200 plus the cost of the pessary (ranging from £3 to £30). The indications and contraindications of pessaries will be discussed and documents provided for your record. 

The Physiotherapist will complete an internal examination of your pelvic floor strength and coordination, as well as an assessment of the prolapse. As part of this assessment, the vaginal tissues are inspected, a speculum may be used for this.

As part of this assessment, the Physiotherapist will consider and assess your breathing pattern, abdominal function and movement patterns as these can impact pelvic floor function and prolapse symptoms. This is tailored to the individual, depending on your symptoms or your concerns. 

Pessary options will be discussed then trial fitting(s) will take place. With the pessary inserted, you will be asked to pass urine and then complete some functional tasks to ensure the pessary is the correct fit for you. This will depend on your activity levels, but often includes walking / moving / exercising.

If you choose to self-manage your pessary then you will be shown how to remove, care for and insert the pessary as required. The longer appointment provides plenty of time to ensure you are happy and comfortable before leaving the clinic. 

You will be reviewed within two weeks of the initial pessary trial / fit, this appointment takes 45 minutes and costs £75. Sometimes it is necessary to try a different size or style of pessary. Sometimes when all is well we use the appointment to check how you are getting on and focus on rehabilitation. 

Depending on the type of pessary, you then need to come back for a pessary review / change within three or six months. If you have any questions or would like to know more about Pessary Fitting for pelvic organ prolapse, then please don't hesitate to contact Emily for more information. 

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