Using a Pessary for Postpartum Recovery


Resources > Using a Pessary for Postpartum Recovery



October 30, 2023


Image of mom and daughter jumping on a trampoline.

Welcoming a new life into the world is an awe-inspiring experience, but the toll it takes on your body is undeniable. The postpartum period is a crucial phase that requires careful attention and support. Using a pessary for postpartum recovery can significantly aid in this process. Let’s explore what a pessary is and how it can be beneficial in postpartum care.

The Jewell Chiropractic team is here to support your well-being at every stage of life. Whether you’re prenatal, postpartum, or none of the above, our team can help you feel your best. Jewell offers massage, lactation help, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. Our educational classes and our twice monthly new parent groups are also available to support you. We invite you to schedule your next appointment or choose a class to join soon.

What Is a Pessary?

A pessary is a ring-shaped medical device designed to provide support to pelvic organs, particularly in cases of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or urinary incontinence. Patients insert a pessary into the vaginal canal to provide support to the uterus, bladder, or rectum. 

Pessaries typically are made of medical-grade silicone and come in several shapes and sizes to accommodate different anatomies. When properly fitted and cared for, a pessary may offer a viable alternative to surgery for POP.

Graphic of female internal organs to demonstrate pelvic organ prolapse

The body undergoes significant changes during pregnancy and childbirth that can weaken or damage the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor weakness often leads to many challenges such as pain during sexual intercourse, urinary incontinence, and bowel incontinence

Pelvic floor therapy and pessary use can help alleviate these concerns.

Benefits of Using a Pessary for Postpartum Recovery

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles are too weak or damaged to support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. When this happens, one or more of the pelvic organs may drop down into the vagina. 

Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair POP, but pessary use and pelvic floor therapy can help some people avoid an operation.

Using a pessary postpartum typically offers the following benefits:

  • Pelvic Support: A pessary provides crucial support to the pelvic organs, helping to alleviate discomfort and preventing further prolapse.
  • Reduced Incontinence: For many postpartum women, urinary and bowel incontinence are common yet frustrating issues. Jumping, running, and sneezing can suddenly become problematic after having a baby. A pessary helps support the bladder and rectum, thereby reducing incontinence.
  • Avoidance of Surgery: In many cases, a pessary is a non-invasive alternative to surgical intervention. It offers relief without the need for a more extensive procedure. And after proper fitting by a medical provider, the pessary is simple to remove and insert as needed.

Using a pessary for postpartum recovery can allow you to enjoy vigorous activities without urine leakage. Image of woman jogging in park.


Important Notes on Using a Pessary

Although the pessary is a commonly used medical device, it does require some medical oversight. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider so they can assess your specific needs and recommend the appropriate size and type. 

Your provider will also demonstrate how to insert and remove the pessary safely. It should sit comfortably in the vaginal canal without causing discomfort.

It’s also important to discuss proper cleaning and maintenance with your provider. Generally, you can use soap and water for cleaning your pessary. Allow it to dry thoroughly before reinsertion.

Periodic check-ups with your healthcare provider are critical to ensure that the pessary continues to fit correctly and provide the necessary support. If you experience any discomfort, pain, or unusual discharge while using a pessary, consult your medical provider immediately.

Jewell Postpartum Support

Your unique postpartum journey deserves all the support possible. Massage, chiropractic care, pelvic floor therapy, and new parent support groups are all available at Jewell Chiroropractic’s Portland, OR, office to aid in your postpartum recovery.

You can find a class or support group time here or schedule your next appointment for a bodywork treatment.

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