Vaginal pessary is a medical device to be inserted in the vagina either to support pelvic organs such as uterus (womb), vagina, bladder, or rectum or to deliver medications. Pessaries are very useful as a non-surgical approach in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. Pessaries are sometimes employed to test the effect of surgery for pelvic organ prolapse upon urinary incontinence symptoms. Pessaries are very effective in the treatment of uterine prolapse in young women during pregnancy. In this case, the pessary works by holding the uterus in a correct position before it enlarges and prolapses in-to the vagina. Pregnancy, childbirth, and difficult labor are factors that weaken pelvic muscles in some women. Also, with increasing age, due to deficiency of estrogen, tightness of muscles gets reduced slowly. This may lead to drop of the uterus in-to the vaginal canal. Apart from this, factors such as chronic cough, obesity, and hormonal disturbances cause pelvic floor drop.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of women aged 65 years and above in America would double by 2030 to reach over 40 million. Increasing geriatric population, increasing incidence of pelvic organ prolapse, and changing lifestyles are factors driving the vaginal pessaries market. However, complications caused by use of pessaries such as formation of an opening between the vagina and the rectum, bleeding, open sores, and irritation are factors hampering the vaginal pessaries market. Pelvic organ prolapse is very common worldwide; however, the number of undiagnosed cases is still high, due to feeling of embarrassment and shyness among patients. Poor diagnosis of the disorder is another restraining factor for the market. Pessaries available at present, lack the ease of insertion and comfort. There exist lucrative opportunities for R&D to develop more flexible and irritation-free pessaries.
The global vaginal pessaries market can be segmented on the basis of physical characteristics, application, and region. Based on physical characteristics, the vaginal pessaries market has been broadly segmented in-to support pessaries and space-occupying pessaries. Support pessaries are further classified as ring pessaries, gehrungs, and mar-lands. Ring pessaries are of two types, those with and without support and those with a knob to help in urinary incontinence. Ring pessaries is a preferred choice of clinicians, due to its ease of insertion and removal of these pessaries. These are best suited for earlier stages of prolapse, but can also be applied in all stages of pelvic organ prolapse. Gehrungs are the pessaries useful for the control of third stage uterine prolapse accompanied by cystocele or rectocele. Gehrung rests on the vaginal wall like a bridge. Mar-land is a flexible silicone pessary useful against minor prolapse and for relieving the stress caused by incontinence. Space-occupying pessaries are further classified in-to shelf pessaries, gellhorn pessaries, donut pessaries, incontinence dish pessaries with knobs, hodge pessaries, and cube pessaries. Shelf pessaries are flat and kidney-shaped with a raised handle. Gellhorn pessaries are used against advanced stages of prolapse and in patients who are not sexually active. Donut pessaries are employed to relieve the cystocele or rectocele and second or third stage uterine prolapse. Cube pessaries are effective in the control of stage-III and stage-IV prolapse.
Based on application, the vaginal pessaries market can be segmented in-to therapeutic pessaries, pharmaceutical pessaries, and occlusive pessaries. Therapeutic pessary is a medical device applied to support the pelvic organs. Pharmaceutical pessaries are used to deliver drugs to vagina. These are very effective in the treatment of local inflammations and yeast infections. Occlusive pessaries, when combined with spermicides, act as an effective means of contraception.
Geographically, the global vaginal pessaries market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America accounts for a major share of the global vaginal pessaries market. Research indicates, in 2010, there were 3.3 million women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse in U.S. alone. Increasing geriatric women population, lifestyle changes leading to hormonal disturbances, rising prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse, and awareness about health are factors driving the market in North America. The region is followed by Europe. The market in Europe is expanding at a significant pace. This is attributable to high expenditure on health care, and favorable reimbursement scenario in the region. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand rapidly during forecast period.
Key players operating in the global vaginal pessaries market are Cooper Surgical Inc., MedGyn Products, Inc., Personal Medical Corp., Panpac Medical Corp, Smiths Medical, and Thomas Medical among others.
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