As women age, childbirth and lower estrogen levels can lead to conditions like pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). When a woman’s pelvic structures no longer provide adequate support, POP occurs. POP develops when a patient’s organs move around, then press against the vaginal wall. In addition, POP can sometimes lead to SUI, meaning physical activity or exertion causes some women to urinate. Treating POP and SUI are just two popular transvaginal mesh uses, but women should also consider the device’s many risks.
Potential Transvaginal Mesh Uses Include Some Serious Health Complication Risks
Transvaginal mesh uses a net-like implant attached to the vaginal wall in order to support drooping pelvic organs. Solving secondary health issues caused by POP and SUI is among the top transvaginal mesh uses. However, there are harmful side effects that may outweigh benefits of various popular transvaginal mesh uses, including:
- Severe infection
- Device erosion
- Pain and scarring
- Urinary incontinence
Many women are filing transvaginal mesh lawsuits against manufacturing companies, including Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard. Plaintiffs allege they failed to warn patients about all potential device risks. They also accuse device manufacturers of failing to complete proper testing or research on all approved transvaginal mesh uses. Women everywhere are reporting severe TVM injuries and complications, as it puts a strain on intimate relationships since intercourse is too painful.
Transvaginal Mesh Uses: Materials
The most common TVM includes polypropylene, a plastic-like material. However, there are several TVM types currently available. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mentions four common surgical mesh varieties, including:
- Animal-derived mesh: Some mesh is manufactured from pig or cow’s skin and/or intestines, making it absorbable.
- Non-absorbable synthetic mesh: This TVM should remain permanently in the body. It provides long-term vaginal wall support and includes the plastic-like material mentioned above.
- Absorbable synthetic mesh: Temporary absorbable mesh should degrade and lose strength over time. New tissue growth then gradually replaces the absorbable mesh in providing long-term pelvic organ support.
- Combination mesh: This TVM uses both absorbable and non-absorbable synthetic materials. The American Recall Center notes combination mesh was the first type approved for various transvaginal mesh uses. Its first device featured a synthetic mesh composite coated in bovine (cow) collagen.
Because the vagina produces natural bacteria, sterile TVM implantation is often impossible. Surgical implantation can easily lead to post-insertion infections. An aggressive infection can cause further complications, such as mesh erosion.
POP & SUI Transvaginal Mesh Uses Are Cheaper Than Other, Less Risky Treatment Options
Transvaginal mesh is not the only way to treat POP and SUI. Other surgeries used to combat this condition are transabdominal mesh and mesh sling. However, TVM is a popular method because it costs less and requires less recovery time. When TVM complications arise, the mesh may need to be removed. This can become extremely difficult if the body has already started to grow around the device and may result in several surgeries before the device can be fully removed, costing patients thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
Speak with an Attorney
Transvaginal mesh uses are meant to solve serious health problems. However, when patients experience severe infections or painful intercourse after implantation, many believe it isn’t worth the risk. If you or a loved one suffered transvaginal mesh complications, you may qualify for financial compensation. Consult an attorney to discuss your options before pursuing a transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
Related: Find Your State’s Deadline to File a Claim
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.