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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2002 Nov;13(6):349-51; discussion 352.

Do pessaries prevent the progression of pelvic organ prolapse?

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


Pessaries are used for the management of pelvic organ prolapse, but it is unknown whether a pessary will prevent progression of this condition. The purpose of this study was to describe the course of pelvic organ prolapse among women using a pessary for at least 1 year. Among 56 consecutive women fitted with a pessary, 19 (33.9%) continued its use under our care for at least 1 year. We compared baseline and follow-up examinations, using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantitation examination system. At baseline, 16 (84.2%) had stage 3 or 4 prolapse. After 1 year we observed a significant improvement in the stage of disease ( P = 0.045, Wilcoxon signed rank test). Four women (21.1%, 95% confidence interval -0.2, 43.7%) had an improvement in stage. No women had worsening in stage of prolapse. These data suggest that there may be a therapeutic effect associated with the use of a supportive pessary.

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