Vaginal pessary use during pregnancy - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 7 Old 07-16-2017, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Question Vaginal pessary use during pregnancy

Do any other mamas here on Mothering have to use a pessary? (I'm not sure where to post this or look) I had to start two years ago when I was pregnant with my fifth child and couldn't empty my bladder. (I read about this recently in my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book - they don't have the word "pessary" in the book but they mention that when you're unable to empty your bladder, you might have a tilted uterus, which I found out I have in 2015. They didn't go so far as to mention uterine prolapse, surgery, or pessary but I still wished I'd read it 2 years ago.) It was thought that I had a vaginal cyst in May and June 2015 - so many ultrasound technicians were fooled, thinking my bladder was a cyst, and finally when surgery was about to start and they inserted a catheter they observed that the huge thing was my bladder, which finally drained into the catheter. A week or so after that, when I could be done with the foly (don't remember correct spelling) and carrying the pee-bag around, they fitted me for a pessary. I started using a new one last summer between pregnancies. Now I have a size 2.5 and I take it out every night (at my husband's request two years ago) and re-insert it every morning right before my shower with coconut oil.

I'm asking because for the last two nights, when I went to take it out, it was as if I grabbed the far side of it and struggled with the right positioning before succeeding in removal. Both nights I had some fresh red blood with it, more so last night when it was more of a struggle to find the right big hole in the pessary to put my finger in in order to pull the pessary out. I hope this won't continue long because my prenatal appointment with the doctors who gave me the pessary, an hour away in a big city, isn't until the middle of August (when I called at the beginning of this pregnancy, that was their first opening) and the closest doctor my insurance accepts that has experience with that other clinic is a man. I hope I can wait until I go to the big city clinic in August for my prenatal appointment and just mention it then because they have mostly female staff, which I prefer during pregnancy and most other times, pregnancy dealing with the vagina so much of the time and the pessary specifically (when they gave it to me two years ago and last summer, it was only women in the room with me besides my husband). Nothing against male doctors . . .

May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#2 of 7 Old 07-22-2017, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: this happened again on Wednesday night. I called the clinic where I can't go for a prenatal appointment until August 14th, and they recommended getting a vaginal exam locally (the clinic with the August appointment is an hour away) Last night (Friday) I went to the urgent care clinic half an hour away where I had my pregnancy confirmed; they said they can only do vaginal exams to confirm pregnancies, which they did a few weeks ago, and they sent me to the ER five minutes away from that clinic. Two hours later (after 10 at night last night, when I was praying for help with staying awake long enough to drive the half an hour home), the ER told me I don't have a UTI, my blood looked fine, and the ultrasound showed baby is fine at 11 weeks - thank God! - but I have bacterial vaginosis, a vaginal infection, from the pessary I have to keep using.

May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#3 of 7 Old 07-27-2017, 06:07 AM
 
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That doesn't sound entirely reassuring for you.

By coincidence, I have just started to have bladder prolapse issues, and I am also due in February. The OB says there is a good chance that in 3-4 weeks when the uterus graduates from the pelvis this may improve.

I am skeptical! I'm really worried about the UTI risk. I've had a couple of moments of near retention that were unpleasant.

Just as well these babies will be beautiful!
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#4 of 7 Old 07-27-2017, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Em1979 View Post
That doesn't sound entirely reassuring for you.

By coincidence, I have just started to have bladder prolapse issues, and I am also due in February. The OB says there is a good chance that in 3-4 weeks when the uterus graduates from the pelvis this may improve.

I am skeptical! I'm really worried about the UTI risk. I've had a couple of moments of near retention that were unpleasant.

Just as well these babies will be beautiful!
Congratulations! Yes, our babies will still be beautiful. My fifth child, the one I was pregnant with when I first found out about my tilted uterus and during whose pregnancy I had bladder prolapse, is walking around now at 20 months old, very cute and beautiful, thanks be to God!

I hope you don't get a UTI. I don't remember getting one in 2015 until the surgery to remove what they thought was a vaginal cyst (it was my bladder, very full, and they found out when they inserted the catheter which drained the bladder so they didn't have to cut, thank God) because after that I had to have a foley (pee bag to carry around and empty into the toilet) for a week until they trained me to use the pessary. Using the foley automatically gave me a UTI. Hopefully, if you can stay hydrated and stay out of the hospital for the time being, you won't get a UTI - I know it's hard to stay hydrated when we have to go to the bathroom all the time, being pregnant, but in 2015 a friend told me that the more I drink at a time, the stronger my bladder will become, so I switched from taking sips to drinking 16 oz water or more at a time.

What does it feel like when you had a couple of moments of near retention, if you don't mind me asking? I don't know much about that and I am still kind of new to these sorts of issues. I do "hold it" sometimes, especially when I'm driving, or busy cooking, or sitting and feeding my toddler who falls asleep on my lap, but when I don't have a reason to hold it, I try to get to the bathroom to empty my bladder sooner. I guess my memories of urine retention (if that's what it was) are from May 2015 before the would-be surgery and pessary, when I couldn't empty my bladder at home and it eventually got to the point where I couldn't pee until I laid down in bed - it was gross and humiliating and I started wearing Depends. Wearing the pessary is a pain, but it is a huge improvement over that week of using the foley and I wouldn't go back to wearing Depends and not being able to pee in the toilet for a million dollars (in fact, I'm wondering who I can donate a whole bunch of Depends to from that pregnancy).

You have a good attitude. I hope your doctor is right that your condition will improve in a few weeks and you won't have nearly the degree of problems that I do.

May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#5 of 7 Old 07-28-2017, 05:58 AM
 
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What does it feel like when you had a couple of moments of near retention, if you don't mind me asking? .
Usually first thing in the morning, unable to pass urine despite painfully aware of need to do so. I had some success with blowing through a straw while trying to pee, and also by distracting my body with swimming in the ocean.

I use a "squatty potty" stool and double emptying (peeing...pausing..then finishing the pee) which seems to be helping (reduced volume of urine left on ultrasound).
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#6 of 7 Old 08-04-2017, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Usually first thing in the morning, unable to pass urine despite painfully aware of need to do so. I had some success with blowing through a straw while trying to pee, and also by distracting my body with swimming in the ocean.

I use a "squatty potty" stool and double emptying (peeing...pausing..then finishing the pee) which seems to be helping (reduced volume of urine left on ultrasound).
Thank you for answering. I've been meaning to reply all week long, and this is the first time I've had a chance. What you described about being unable to pee despite knowing you have to brings back painful memories for me. I had that symptom in May 2015 or so, and I strained so hard . . . I may have been dehydrated for part of that time, which didn't help me pee of course, but even dehydration can make you feel like you have to pee. I went to the ER an hour away twice before finally insisting on surgery for the vaginal cyst they thought I had; when they inserted the catheter as a routine part of beginning the surgery, which is when the doctor discovered that my bladder drained and the problem was my bladder, not a cyst. So I had to go home with the foley (a standard post-surgery procedure, I guess, even if she ended up not having to go ahead with the surgery - thank God for my baby and I!) which was a little nice because I didn't have to go to the bathroom several times at night, but it was embarrassing to carry around and I couldn't just stay home all week. In a week I went back and passed the pee test (they inserted about 300 cc's or so - I forget the exact amount but it was a lot) and I went to the bathroom in the clinic and peed it all out right away, so they fitted me for a pessary and I'm still using one.

I had a couple of mornings this past week like that, too. (I take the pessary out every night and put it back in every morning right before my shower) I know I don't go to bed dehydrated because I drink 16 oz water with my bedtime vitamins and I often drink tea right before that, and water and meals before that, and when I get up for my first morning pee after 6 AM or so I take another 16 oz water with me so I can take my thyroid medicine first thing in the morning. Anyway, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings this past week, I got up as usual, took my thyroid medicine out of the fridge, went straight to the toilet, tried to pee . . . and couldn't. I took my thyroid medicine and drank the 16 oz water I had waiting on the counter . . . and when I paused and waited for a long time (usually by this time I've peed out a steady stream and am having a bowel movement the 16 oz water helps with) and paused and tried again several times, I was finally able to pee a little.

The morning after that I happily discovered that if I sleep on my side instead of on my back - which I'm going to have to do for the rest of the pregnancy starting around 16 weeks anyway - I don't have the retention problem! Those two mornings I had the problem this week, I went to sleep on my back and woke up on my back. Have you found anything similar that works? I don't know why my sleeping position would make so much of a difference, but it did. All 3 mornings it was at least an hour before I put the pessary back in and showered etc.

May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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#7 of 7 Old 08-07-2017, 08:25 AM
 
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I too wear a pessary. The birth of my first child in 2013 was quite traumatic and shortly after I was diagnosed with a grade 3 bladder prolapse. I tried physical therapy and started using a pessary. Unfortunately, my pelvic area has been opened up so much that only the largest size worked. I've since had two more children. With both, I had to stop wearing the pessary later in the pregnancy because I couldn't get it to stay in. Now, 2 months after the birth of my third, I can't get my pessary to stay in. I went to the urogynecologist last friday and was told I also have a uterus prolapse now too. This new specialty clinic has an entire room of pessaries and I go in for another fitting tomorrow to see if they can get anything to work. It's all very depressing. I have to make a decision whether I want to have more kids so that we can determine surgical options, and my husband wants another but I don't feel like I can make a decision right now. I really want to get fixed, but I also know it's easy to say I don't want another baby when I have one right now and a couple years from now I may be regretting not having another.

Just so y'all know, I've had difficulty peeing off and on ever since I first started having these problems, but so far, I have not had any UTIs. At my last dr. visit they tested me and found that even though I feel like I can't empty my bladder all the way, I'm actually emptying it sufficiently.

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