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Why have you been prescribed Gemeprost pessaries?
This has been prescribed to make the operation you are about to undergo easier as it helps to soften and open up the cervix (neck of the womb) thereby reducing the risk of operative complications.

Are there any precautions I need to know about?
Please tell us if you have any allergies, heart/circulation problems such as blood pressure, lung problems such as severe asthma, and eye problems such as glaucoma (raised intra-ocular pressure). Also, please let us know if you have had a previous caesarean section as we may not want you to have Gemeprost in this situation. Please inform the nurse if you are bleeding as you might not need the pessary.

Are there any side effects?
These are rare because you are only going to have one dose. If they do occur they only usually last a short time but can include bleeding from the vagina, mild crampy period-type pains, dizziness and sickness. Sometimes, shortness of breath may occur. If these side effects are troublesome or there is something else that is worrying you please call a nurse. On rare occasions the tablet may start you bleeding vaginally particularly if there has been a delay in getting you to theatre. If this happens please tell a nurse who can check things out for you.

How is it given?
It is put into your vagina (birth canal) as high up as possible and can be self-administered.

How do I do that?
The nurse will give you the pessary in an opened packet along with a pair of gloves and some jelly. You can choose where you want to put the pessary in, either in your bed or in the toilet. Some women find it easier to insert the pessary lying on their back and others find it easier to put it in with one foot up, say on the toilet seat. Put the pessary on the end of your finger (rather like you would with a tampon). Put that finger into your vagina as high as possible and then remove the finger. The pessary will stay behind. Once you have put the pessary in please tell the nurse so that she can document that you have given it to yourself.

What if I don’t want to insert the pessary myself?
Then tell one of the nurses and she will arrange for a qualified person to do it for you.