Canada’s CTV News says that several women have come forward to share their experiences after the station reported on the class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Canadian women who have experienced painful, sometimes devastating complications from their transvaginal mesh implants.
For Nonie Wideman, the evidence that there is something wrong with her transvaginal mesh implant is visible. She told CTV News that pieces of the mesh’s purple fibers have eroded and come out of her vagina and also through her urine.
“It’s eroded into my urinary system and I am in trouble,” she told CTV. Like many other women with transvaginal mesh complications, Ms. Wideman told CTV News that the pain is so inconsolable and inescapable that it has left her suicidal.
Transvaginal mesh is a device consisting of a woven plastic fabric that is sewn into the body to ease symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These conditions, which are often brought about by aging and the stress of childbirth, occur when the pelvic floor muscles become weakened and allow one or more of the pelvic organs to drop in position.
Some women who have been implanted with transvaginal mesh to correct POP or SUI instead end up with complications many times worse than the one being treated, frequently as a result of the device moving or falling apart.
When that happens, the sharp edges of the mesh can perforate the bladder, bowel, and other organs, possibly causing intense pain, bleeding, and infection. The device can also erode through the vaginal wall, creating intense tearing and burning sensations that can turn life upside down for both the victims and their male partners.
As CTV News reports, the male partners of many women experiencing vaginal mesh complications sometimes report being cut or scratched during intercourse from mesh fibers that have protruded though the vaginal walls. For other men, physical intimacy with their partner is no longer possible because the defective transvaginal mesh has left them in too much pain.
As for Ms. Wideman, she is able to manage her pain with prescription drugs, but she has yet to find a surgeon who can remove the defective mesh from her body. Unfortunately, because the device is designed to meld with the surrounding tissue, it can become exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to remove over time.
Surgeons who are confident the mesh can be successfully removed sometimes require multiple surgeries to complete the process.