Transvaginal mesh can treat many women’s pelvic conditions, including urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage). Yet transvaginal mesh causes many negative side effects, including pain from implant erosion or contraction. Many physicians implant transvaginal mesh into UI sufferers, as sling procedures are among the most common treatments. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, urinary incontinence surgeries can be invasive as well as increase adverse side effect risks. As a result, many women are looking for safer, nonsurgical ways to alleviate their UI symptos. The Mayo Clinic says treatment effectiveness depends on urinary incontinence type. This is because each UI type has a different underlying cause and therefore requires specific treatment.
Five Types of Urinary Incontinence
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the five common urinary incontinence types are:
- Overflow incontinence, which is when emptying to inhibited from a blocked urethra or a weakened bladder
- Urge incontinence, which is when the bladder becomes “overactive” due to an infected or irritated lining
- Stress incontinence, which causes urine to leak during activity
- Urgency-frequency problems, or when the women has an uncontrollable urge to urinate small amounts often
- Retention problems, or when urine cannot be released from the bladder
The Urology Care Foundation (run by the American Urological Association) lists two additional incontinence types:
- mixed incontinence, which is a combination of stress and urge incontinence
- functional incontinence, which is when a physical or mental disability impedes proper urination
Avoiding Transvaginal Mesh: 4 Nonsurgical UI Treatment Options
Dysfunctional muscles or a weakened bladder cause many common UI symptoms among women, according to Bard Medical. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic said each UI type can be treated without surgery, thereby avoiding transvaginal mesh. While some treatments involve injections or medications, there are usually fewer complications than occur with transvaginal mesh. Avoiding transvaginal mesh also prevents the need for additional revision surgeries, pain and other potentially serious TVM complications.
Nonsurgical Treatment #1: Pelvic Floor Strengthening
According to the Urology Care Foundation, training of the pelvic and sphincter muscles, such as through Kegel exercises, can help women improve their urinary control without any need for medications or invasive treatments. Kegel exercises allow patients to train their muscles on their own multiple times during the day, while other types of pelvic floor strengthening includes biofeedback, or the electrical stimulation of the pelvic muscles. Other types of treatment include weighted vaginal cones, which the Urology Care Foundation says can help patients understand how to isolate their pelvic muscles for strengthening exercises.
Nonsurgical Treatment #2: Collagen or Bulking Agent Injections
Injections that allow the urethra to close tightly or seal the base of the bladder can also help women who suffer from urinary incontinence. Developed by a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, a simple injection of collagen can act as a bulking agent to bring the walls of the bladder closer together, often causing the full restoration of urine control after numerous procedures. This procedure requires local anesthesia and a small needle.
Nonsurgical Treatment #3: Behavioral Modification
Diet is often the culprit behind a urinary incontinence diagnosis. According to the Urology Care Foundation, avoiding bladder irritants, such as caffeine, and decreasing the amount of fluid ingested aids mild to moderate stress incontinence.
Nonsurgical Treatment #4: Botox
Botox injections comprise another minimally invasive outpatient procedure, temporarily reducing bladder sensitivity. While the patient needs repeated treatments over time, Botox provides surgery-free relief.
What You Can Do
If you were injured by transvaginal mesh, you may qualify for a cash settlement from the manufacturer. To see if you’re potentially eligible, your free transvaginal mesh compensation review form today. Then, an advocate will contact you shortly to discuss your compensation options.
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.