The first transvaginal mesh was approved to treat POP in 2002. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are both common in women of older age, specially after child birth. Every year, around 75,000 transvaginal mesh procedures for POP are performed and about 200,000 cases of SUI are treated with mesh implant surgeries.
Unfortunately, the mesh is associated with severe health complications which were not apparent until many years after they were introduced to the market.
Of the many health issues reported to the FDA, the following transvaginal mesh complications are mostly commonly found:
The most common health issue associated with transvaginal mesh devices is mesh erosion. Also known as protrusion, extrusion, or exposure, mesh erosion occurs when the mesh erodes or bulges through the vaginal wall. This can result in severe pain, unusual bleeding, bacterial vaginal infections, pain during sexual intercourse or an inability to engage in sexual intercourse.
Mesh contraction, or shrinkage, is yet another transvaginal mesh complications linked with transvaginal mesh products, as shown in the 2011 FDA health warning. The issue has been reported both to the FDA and in medical literature. Vaginal tightening and pain may result from mesh contraction. Similar to mesh erosion, the contraction can result in brutal pain, difficulty in sexual intercourse, or causing inability to engage in regular sexual intercourse.
When transvaginal mesh adhesion occurs, the pelvis organs grow onto each other, causing damage to the organ functioning. Due to the product’s placement, adhesion can also affect the functioning of the urethra, bowel and uterus. Like other vaginal complications, mesh adhesion can only be cured through multiple surgeries to remove the mesh and repair the affected organs.
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