Can I do pelvic floor exercises with a pessary?

How pessaries impact your exercises

The short answer is yes, you can do pelvic floor muscle exercises when you wear a pessary.

Firstly, let’s be clear what type of pessary we are talking about. A pessary can be used to describe a small, tablet-like dose of oestrogen that you can insert into the vagina to keep the tissues healthy following the menopause. In this article, we are talking about the PVC or silicone structural pessaries that are used inside the vagina, to support a pelvic organ prolapse.

Pessaries should fit comfortably and be unnoticed most of the time. They should offer good prolapse support and help you to continue your life, work and sporting activities without any symptoms.

It is completely safe to do your pelvic floor exercises with a pessary in place. In fact, a pessary can really help your pelvic floor exercise programme as it supports the prolapse and may make it easier for you to do these exercises.

If you have a pelvic organ prolapse, it is worth aiming to complete six sets of exercises a day. Try ten slow squeezes, holding for ten seconds each. Follow this with ten fast squeezes. Make sure you relax fully between each squeeze.

Don’t worry if this seems too difficult. Start with what you can do and build up from there. Research suggests that six sets a day is ideal for women with symptoms such as a prolapse, but it is more important to be consistent so start with one or two sets a day and build a regular habit with these. You can then gradually increase the number of sets.

Do see a pelvic health physiotherapist if you have any concerns about your pelvic floor, or about pelvic floor exercises. You can find one near you in the Squeezy directory.

It is also worthwhile thinking about your other exercise programmes too, and seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist if you would like advice on how to adapt any of your exercise routines or sporting activities when you have a prolapse.