Gynecologists' patterns of prescribing pessaries

J Reprod Med. 2001 Mar;46(3):205-8.


Objective: To determine how gynecologists in the United States prescribe pessaries.

Study design: A 34-question (long) survey was sent to 2,000 gynecologists. Those who did not respond were then sent a five-question (short) survey.

Results: Nine hundred forty-seven (47.3%) long and short questionnaires were returned. Eighty-six percent of gynecologists prescribe pessaries. Most received minimal or no training in pessaries in their residencies. The most common pessaries used were the ring and doughnut. Uterine prolapse was treated most often with the Gellhorn and doughnut pessaries. The cube and Gellhorn pessaries were thought to be the most effective for vaginal vault prolapse. The Gehrung and ring pessaries were thought to be most effective for correction of cystocele. However, the ring pessary was considered the easiest to use. Follow-up visits were most often performed at one week, one month and then every three months. Estrogen was used in most cases.

Conclusion: Most gynecologists prescribe pessaries. The ring pessary is used most often and is deemed the easiest to use. Pessaries are thought to work for all pelvic organ prolapse defects but are thought to be less effective for posterior defects. Follow-up of patients differs from manufacturers' recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Estradiol Congeners / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Office Visits
  • Pessaries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prescriptions*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Uterine Prolapse / therapy*


  • Estradiol Congeners