Vaginal pessaries for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse in elderly women

Curr Opin Urol. 2016 Mar;26(2):201-6. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0000000000000266.


Purpose of review: Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common clinical condition that is highly prevalent in the geriatric female population. The condition can have substantial negative influence on multiple symptom and quality-of-life parameters. There are various treatment options for POP, including observation, pessary placement, and surgical treatments with either vaginal reconstruction or colpocleisis resulting in vaginal vault closure. This review examines current literature about pessary use for treatment of POP in elderly women.

Recent findings: Pessary use appears to be successful for many women and is often associated with improvements in various clinical parameters, including decreased sensation of vaginal bulge and enhanced quality of life. Some patients may experience improvements in bladder or bowel symptoms, although a small percentage may develop new urinary incontinence, constipation, or other defecation problems. Complications of pessary use are generally minor and can usually be successfully treated with targeted therapy such as vaginal estrogen supplementation. Continuity of clinical care is important to help maintain clinical success and prevent potential complications.

Summary: Pessaries are a viable conservative form of treatment for POP for many older women. Pessary use can lead to substantial improvements in quality of life and other clinical outcomes in geriatric patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / therapy*
  • Pessaries* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome