When it was introduced in the 1990s, vaginal mesh was heralded as a safe and permanent fix for female pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition that happens when a woman’s pelvic muscles weaken causing the pelvic organs – including the bladder, vagina, rectum and uterus – to drop into the vagina. It’s a condition that typically plagues older women, women who have undergone childbirth, a hysterectomy and menopause.
Vaginal Mesh Complications
Vaginal mesh, made from a flexible plastic material, is surgically implanted through the vagina. After incisions are made in the vagina and supporting tissue near the vagina, this hammock-like device is stitched under the prolapsed organs. The mesh is supposed to support the organs and reinforce the weakened vaginal tissue.
In some cases, however, the mesh is known to erode, causing pain and infection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that 10 percent of women experience mesh erosion within one year of the surgery. Typically, erosion symptoms happen within a month of the initial surgery, with pain during sex, vaginal scarring, vaginal shrinkage and organ perforation being the most common.
Some women have opted to have the mesh surgically removed. The procedure is difficult but can be …