Potato Pessary

Woman goes to emergency room when potato used as pessary sprouts in her vagina?

Claim:   Woman goes to emergency room when potato used as a pessary sprouts in her vagina.

Status:   Undetermined.

Example:   [Brown, 1996]

An elderly female comes to the Emergency Department complaining: “I got the green vines in my virginny.”

The patient reports a two-week history of a vine growing from her vagina. On physical examination it is discovered that she does indeed have a vine growing out of her vagina, about six inches in length.

A pelvic exam reveals a mass which is easily removed from the vaginal vault, vine still attached. Upon extraction, the patient reports that her uterus had been falling out and that she “put a potato in there to hold it up” and subsequently forgot about it.

Origins:   The


tale of a woman who employs a potato as a pessary (a device worn in the vagina to support the uterus) has also been circulating on the Internet since at least the early 1990s. The patient always refers to her condition in some nonplussed, malapropic fashion (e.g., “I got a tree in the bedina” or “I got the green vines in my virginny”) to establish the image of a simple old rural woman prone to employing folk remedies such as a potato pessary.

Last updated:   1 August 2007


  Sources Sources:

    Brown, Mark.   Emergency! True Stories from the Nation’s ERs.

    New York: Villard Books, 1996.   ISBN 0-312-96265-7   (p. 98).