How to Insert and Fit a Pessary

Written by j.d. wollf | 13/05/2017

Pessaries are small plastic rings that are inserted into the vagina to treat conditions like uterine prolapse (when the uterus enters the vaginal canal) and stress urinary incontinence. Pessaries are individually fitted to each woman by her doctor to ensure that the pessary is effective and comfortable. After the pessary is properly fitted, it can be easily inserted at home.

Wash and dry your hands.

Fold the pessary in half. The pessary should now look like a "taco", with the curve facing upwards.

Place a dab of water-soluble lubrication on the pessary's edge, if necessary.

Get into a comfortable position for insertion. Most women find it easiest to insert a pessary while squatting, lying down, or with one leg propped up on a chair or bathtub edge.

Spread the lips of the vagina with one hand.

Insert the pessary, curved part upwards, into the vagina. Push the pessary in as far as possible.

Fit the pessary by inserting it into the vagina. This process needs to be completed by a doctor only. The style of the pessary will vary, depending on what condition it is being used to treat.

Check the fit of the pessary, making sure there is the correct amount of room between the pessary and the vaginal wall. The doctor will perform this step.

Test the pessary by sitting, standing, and squatting to make sure that the pessary doesn't fall out, and urinating and defecating does not occur. If you feel discomfort while using the toilet, the pessary is too large. If you are being treated for urinary stress incontinence, cough to test for leakage.

Select appropriate pessary with your doctor. You will then come back to the doctor's office a few days later for a checkup. The doctor will check the fit again and look for signs of irritation or allergic reaction. After this checkup, the patient should come back one to two weeks later and then schedule a checkup every few months.


Pessary fit can change over time. Regular clinic appointments can ensure a correct fit, preventing discomfort.

Tips and warnings

  • Pessary fit can change over time. Regular clinic appointments can ensure a correct fit, preventing discomfort.

Things you need

  • Pessary
  • Water-soluble lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly

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