Transvaginal mesh is often used to treat conditions involving the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a condition where pelvic relaxation causes internal tissue to bulge into the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse is one of the most common reasons for implantation of a transvaginal mesh device, according to Harvard Medical School. Uterine prolapse is another common factor in transvaginal mesh use. According to the Mayo Clinic, uterine prolapse happens when the vagina’s supporting muscles and ligaments weaken, causing it to slip down. Transvaginal mesh is used to support pelvic organs to return to their original positions. However, thousands of U.S. women have had issues with their TVM implants. In fact, many now seek legal action for their injuries. While certain TVM devices can cause damage, three transvaginal mesh injuries occur more frequently than others.
Transvaginal Mesh Injuries Can Be Severe
Among reported transvaginal mesh injuries, anemia, surgical mesh erosion and mesh contraction are some of the most frequently cited and serious complications. Each of these transvaginal mesh injuries can cause severe pain, and may even trigger infections.
Perhaps one of the most severe transvaginal mesh injuries is blood loss. According to HealthDay, pelvic hemorrhage from the device shifting can cause serious problems. A study of 389 women with prolapsed bladders found those with a vaginal mesh implant had blood loss complications. Pelvic bleeding was frequent among TVM participants, and one woman lost approximately 1,000 milliliters of blood. Unfortunately, severe bleeding can also lead to anemia. Anemia can make an individual exhausted and is often caused by severe blood loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. When a vaginal mesh implant causes a hemorrhage either at the time of surgery or due to the device shifting within the body, the person may end up with anemia for the rest of her life.
Research into data from 12,000 women with vaginal mesh inserts showed approximately 10% experienced vaginal mesh erosion within one year of surgery. Erosion, or when the implant erodes from the issue wall, can cause blood to enter the urine, infection, stool draining and severe pain. Vaginal mesh erosion can happen as soon as a month after surgery, with one woman experiencing spotting and discomfort within four months of receiving an implant, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For the patient to recover, she had to undergo surgery to repair the eroded tissue.
Vaginal shortening or tightening can be the result of mesh contraction, which can cause severe pain. The discomfort is often made worse when the woman moves. According to a study by researchers at the University of Sydney published by the International Continence Society, research into vaginal mesh complications found contraction occurs at a rate of 10% a year. This means that by year eight, it can result in a 85% reduction in volume. To repair damage, women often must undergo surgery to extract the mesh as well as relieve man. According to researchers at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Australia, vaginal mesh contraction is one of the leading causes of pain due to vaginal mesh.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.