Pessary: A pessary is a rubber device that is inserted into the vagina until it touches the cervix. The pessary presses through the vaginal wall and supports the urethra. It also pinches the urethra closed to help retain urine in the bladder and reduce stress incontinence. Some women who have stress incontinence use a pessary just during activities that are likely to cause urine leakage, such as jogging. But many pessaries can be worn all the time.
Weighted vaginal cone: A weighted vaginal cone is a cone-shaped weight that is inserted into the vagina. The cone is used as part of a biofeedback exercise for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. The cone is weighted (heavy) so the muscles have to work to keep it in the vagina.
Urethral insert: A thin, flexible tube that is solid rather than hollow (like a catheter) is placed into the urethra to block the leakage of urine.
External urethral barrier: A self-adhesive patch or a cap is placed over the urethral opening to block the leakage of urine.
What To Expect After Treatment
This section is not applicable to this treatment.
Why It Is Done
Mechanical devices can be used to control stress and mixed urinary incontinence. Because they are inexpensive and have few risks, they are usually tried before surgery, along with other treatments like pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises. Some women who have incontinence but who don't want or can't have surgery may find that mechanical devices work well enough to control their incontinence.
How Well It Works
There is no strong evidence that these devices work to control incontinence. But they are inexpensive and don't have a lot of risks. If they don't work for you, you can always try other things like pelvic floor exercises or surgery.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.