Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ drops from its normal spot in your lower stomach and pushes against the walls of your vagina. There are several different types of pelvic organ prolapse including cystocele (bladder prolapse), rectocele (rectal prolapse), uterine prolapse, vaginal prolapse and enterocele (herniated small bowel). Pelvic organ prolapse usually occurs in women after menopause, childbirth or a hysterectomy.
Pelvic organ prolapse is usually treated conservatively at first, with physical therapy or medication such as estrogen replacement therapy. If more conservative treatments do not work, many women turn to surgery. One type of surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse is the implantation of transvaginal mesh. These surgical pelvic mesh products are supposed to give support to the women’s pelvic organs by acting as a hammock and addressing the symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse.
Transvaginal mesh surgeries have not worked as well as their manufacturers had hoped, and there are indeed many women with serious complications and failed surgeries. Some of the adverse events from transvaginal mesh implants include:
- Erosion of the mesh through the vaginal tissue
- Exposure or extrusion of mesh, which can require multiple surgeries
- Feeling a lump in the vaginal opening or something protruding from vagina
- Painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Perforation or puncture of the bladder, intestines and bowels, as well as blood vessels around the vaginal wall
- Recurrent Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
- Urinary problems
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal chronic drainage, discharge and infections
- Vaginal pain
- Vaginal scarring and shortening