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[L. pessarium, suppository]
A device inserted into the vagina to function as a supportive structure for the uterus. A pessary may be inserted to treat symptomatic uterine displacements. After manually repositioning the uterus, the physician inserts the appropriate-size device; a woman should not feel a well-fitted pessary. Pessaries should be removed and cleaned frequently; however, this requires manual dexterity and is difficult for older patients. Use of an antibacterial cream or gel will help decrease odor. Unless discomfort arises, the device is removed about 6 weeks later. If relief and anteversion occur, no further treatment is necessary. If not, the pessary is reinserted for another 6 weeks.