FAQ: What is Transvaginal Mesh?

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Key takeaways:

  • Transvaginal mesh is a device used in surgeries to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
  • The FDA has banned the use of transvaginal mesh for certain procedures due to health risks that could arise from its usage leading to serious complications.
  • There are alternatives to using transvaginal mesh for treating these conditions, including other surgical options and non-surgical methods such as pelvic floor exercises or use of a pessary.
  • Multiple lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh over claims of negligence, design flaws which led health problems among women.

What is Transvaginal Mesh? Lets Discuss.

Question: What is Transvaginal Mesh?

Answer: Transvaginal mesh is primarily used to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. These conditions can occur due to weakened or damaged pelvic organs, often as a result of childbirth, surgery, or aging.

Here are some key points about its use:

  • It provides extra support to the pelvic organs.
  • It can help alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions.
  • It is a treatment option when other non-surgical treatments have failed.

Despite its benefits, the use of transvaginal mesh has become controversial due to reports of complications and adverse effects.

On this page, we’ll provide an in depth answer to “what is Transvaginal Mesh?”, discuss complications from Transvaginal Mesh implants, review the FDA’s ban on Transvaginal Mesh, introduce the alternatives to Transvaginal Mesh surgical procedures, and much more.

FAQ What is Transvaginal Mesh

Overview of what is Transvaginal Mesh?

Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic net-like substance that is inserted through an incision in the vaginal wall to provide extra support to weakened or damaged internal tissue used in the treatment of two specific medical conditions: Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).

  1. Stress urinary incontinence is a condition that causes unintentional loss of urine during physical movement or activity such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting.
  2. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs become weak or loose.

While transvaginal mesh can provide relief, it has been associated with a number of complications.

These include excruciating pain, infection, erosion of the mesh into the vagina, and organ perforation.

Table of Contents

What is Transvaginal Mesh?

The transvaginal mesh is a synthetic or biological material utilized in reconstructive pelvic surgeries to provide support for weakened or damaged tissues, available in various types and serving distinct purposes.

Definition and Purpose

Transvaginal mesh stands as a medical device, often used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women.

Its primary function involves providing additional support to weakened or damaged tissues around the bladder, rectum, and uterus.

The use of this surgical mesh intends to address significant health concerns like discomfort or embarrassment caused by these conditions.

However, it’s also crucial to note that transvaginal permanent mesh is linked with lower instances of repeat surgery compared to native tissue repair, even though its usage corresponds with higher rates of potential complications.

Types of Transvaginal Mesh

Three primary types of transvaginal mesh exist.

Polypropylene mesh, the most frequently used type, is a synthetic option featuring large pores and monofilament construction which allows tissue growth through its spaces.

Absorbable or biological mesh, made from animal tissues such as cowhide or pigskin, is another option – it gradually dissolves and encourages new tissue growth in patients.

Lastly, composite meshes are available; these hybrids boast polypropylene layers combined with absorbable coating that prevents exposure to surrounding organs.

Each type suit different needs based on the patient’s condition and surgeon’s preference.

When is Transvaginal Mesh Used?

Transvaginal mesh is primarily utilized in surgeries for treating conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence among women.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery

Pelvic organ prolapse surgery is an operation to address a condition where one or more pelvic organs descend into the vagina.

This medical issue often affects women after childbirth, as pregnancy and delivery can weaken the muscles that support these organs.

Surgeons have historically used transvaginal mesh in this procedure to provide extra support.

The mesh, typically made of synthetic plastic, serves as a sturdy scaffold for your body’s tissues to grow around.

However, recent studies indicate higher rates of complications with this surgical approach versus others not involving transvaginal mesh.

As such concerns grow, surgeons are now exploring alternative treatments, both surgical and non-surgical for pelvic organ prolapse.

Stress Urinary Incontinence Surgery

Stress urinary incontinence surgery is a procedure primarily used when non-surgical treatment options fail to improve this condition.

Surgeons often utilize transvaginal mesh for support during the operation, including the commonly performed midurethral sling procedure.

The goal of these surgical interventions is to provide an effective and long-term solution for women experiencing stress urinary incontinence—a common issue characterized by involuntary leakage of urine during physical activities such as coughing or sneezing.

However, it’s essential to know that permanent mesh implementation may come with higher rates of de novo stress incontinence and serious complications reported by the FDA, such as erosion and bladder sling issues.

FDA Ban on Transvaginal Mesh

The ban on transvaginal mesh by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effectively halted its use in repairs of pelvic organ prolapse, significantly impacting women’s healthcare options.

Explanation of the Ban

In 2019, the FDA issued a ban on transvaginal mesh for treating pelvic organ prolapse and ordered companies to stop selling these products.

This action was necessary due to growing concerns about women’s health risks associated with its use.

Transvaginal mesh used in surgeries for stress urinary incontinence and other types of pelvic surgery were not affected by this ban.

The decision arrived after careful scrutiny and research into the complications arising from the usage of transvaginal mesh implants for POP repairs.

Instead of providing relief, many women experienced pain, discomfort, infections or even erosion issues leading to follow-up procedures.

The FDA stood firm in taking this decisive step focusing on safeguarding women’s health over any other considerations.

Implications for Women

The FDA’s ban on transvaginal mesh has significant implications.

Women seeking treatment for conditions like pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence will need to explore other options.

Doctors cannot propose this solution anymore, given the health risks associated with it.

Countries worldwide have taken similar steps, impacting women’s healthcare choices globally.

Though it may seem concerning initially, safe surgical alternatives are available.

For instance, the FDA recommends transabdominal surgical mesh as a viable alternative for treating pelvic organ prolapse.

These changes aim to ensure women’s safety and prevent complications arising from using transvaginal mesh.

Complications from Transvaginal Mesh Implants

This section will explore the various complications that arise from transvaginal mesh implants, including severe pain and discomfort, infections, and the troublesome erosion of the mesh.

Pain and Discomfort

Transvaginal mesh implants have been associated with significant pain and discomfort for some women.

These complications can occur during everyday activities or even at rest, affecting quality of life.

It is not uncommon to feel a persistent ache in the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

Many women also report intimate troubles due to this medical device.

The implant can induce painful sexual intercourse, known in medical terms as dyspareunia.

This results from the mesh eroding into surrounding tissues, causing irritation and inflammation.

In severe cases, you may find it difficult to sit comfortably for extended periods or engage in physical activities without distress.


Infection stands as a common complication linked to transvaginal mesh implants.

After undergoing an operation, signs of infection may surface, like severe pain and bleeding.

A medical professional will confirm these symptoms and execute culture tests for proper diagnosis.

Occasionally, the mesh device becomes contaminated during surgery leading to chronic infections that persist over time.

These chronic infections can escalate complications including organ perforation – a serious condition where holes form in nearby organs such as the bladder or bowels.

Thus, it is critical to monitor your condition closely after receiving transvaginal mesh implants and report any irregularities promptly for timely treatment.

Erosion of Mesh

Erosion of mesh stands as a common issue with transvaginal mesh implants.

This complication occurs when the mesh begins to protrude through the surgical incision and into the vaginal canal.

Various symptoms can indicate its occurrence, including irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain, discomfort during sex, or bladder and bowel problems.

In rare cases, this condition may even lead to serious complications if the mesh erodes into organs like the bladder, rectum or bowel.

Treatment is essential once signs are identified; this typically involves further medical management from healthcare professionals.

Alternatives to Transvaginal Mesh

This section will explore other treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, discussing both non-surgical methods and alternative surgical procedures that can be considered as safer alternatives to transvaginal mesh.

Alternatives to Transvaginal Mesh

Non-surgical Treatments

Exploring non-surgical treatments provide options for those who prefer to avoid surgery.

Let’s discuss some non-surgical treatments:

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: These exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles and can alleviate symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
  2. Weight Loss: Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces pressure on the pelvic organs, reducing symptoms.
  3. Use of Pessary: A pessary is a device inserted into the vagina that provides support for prolapsed organs.
  4. Biofeedback Therapy: This method employs electronic sensors to monitor bodily functions like muscle tension, helping patients learn how to control them.
  5. Medications: Estrogen therapy can help maintain or restore the strength of vaginal tissues in women undergoing menopause.
  6. Vaginal cones: These weighted devices are used in conjunction with pelvic floor exercises to enhance their effect.

Pelvic floor disorders can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, often requiring a comprehensive treatment approach.

The non-surgical treatments mentioned above are particularly effective ways to treat pelvic floor disorders, offering patients options that can be tailored to their specific needs.

Other Surgical Options

Apart from transvaginal mesh, several other surgical options exist for treating pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

These surgical options may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Native tissue repair: This method utilizes the patient’s own tissues to restore pelvic organ support.
  2. Laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy: Surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to lift and secure the vagina with a synthetic material.
  3. Uterosacral or sacrospinous ligament fixation: These procedures involve attaching the vagina to strong ligaments in the pelvis.
  4. Autologous fascial sling: A strip of the patient’s own tissue is used to create a support under the urethra.
  5. Colpocleisis: A process designed for women who no longer desire vaginal intercourse, where doctors close off part or all of the vaginal canal.

Mesh surgery and transvaginal repair is a specialized surgical procedure that offer targeted solutions to treat urinary incontinence.

These surgical options complement the range of treatments available, providing a comprehensive approach that can be customized to meet individual patient needs

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Explore the rising number of lawsuits relating to transvaginal mesh complications, understand why it’s crucial to contact a knowledgeable attorney, and learn about your legal rights concerning these troubling medical cases.

Information about Potential Lawsuits

Thousands of women have pursued legal action against the makers of transvaginal mesh.

Many accuse these companies of negligence, design flaws, and warranty breaches.

The concerned manufacturers have settled numerous lawsuits, tallying over $8 billion in personal injury settlements.

Notably, the FDA issued a safety alert in 2011 highlighting serious complications associated with surgical mesh intended for pelvic organ prolapse repair are not rare occurrences.

These severe adverse events can drastically alter lives and cause persistent pain among recipients.

Thus far, this wave of litigation has seen tens of thousands of cases filed by women who received transvaginal mesh implants suffering from chronic complications.

Why Contact an Attorney

Engaging an attorney in transvaginal mesh cases can help you navigate the complexities of these specific lawsuits.

These legal professionals are well-versed in medical terminology, understand procedural nuances, and have extensive knowledge about the FDA regulations surrounding mesh implants.

They’re here to empower you by clearly outlining your rights and exploring all available options for compensation.

Communication with corporations or their insurance companies dealing with such claims can be daunting without a lawyer’s assistance.

An adept attorney ensures that your voice gets heard while they advocate on your behalf during negotiations or court proceedings.

It is crucial to put yourself in capable hands if you choose to pursue litigation following complications from a transvaginal mesh implant.

TruLaw's Expertise in Transvaginal Mesh Cases

Receiving legal assistance can change the outcome of your transvaginal mesh complications significantly.

TruLaw's Expertise in Transvaginal Mesh Cases

Mesh implants, as noted, result in serious medical issues such as erosion through the vaginal mucosa.

Recovering needs expertise and financial support that lawsuits offer.

Vaginal Mesh Attorneys understand and navigate these complex requirements better than victims alone could manage.

They can help you file claims for compensation to handle health impacts caused by failed mesh implants, including, but not limited to:

  • Pain;
  • Bleeding;
  • Infection;
  • Organ perforation (which often requires additional surgery); and
  • Other serious complications

Exploring this option is not just about seeking justice but also crucial for your health recovery plan.

TruLaw’s Experience With Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

If you’re experiencing complications with your transvaginal mesh implant, don’t suffer in silence.

Let the experienced team at TruLaw provide the guidance and support you need.

Reach out to us today for a free consultation — we’re ready to help you navigate through this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Transvaginal Mesh?

    Transvaginal mesh is primarily used to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women.

    These conditions can occur due to weakened or damaged pelvic organs, often as a result of childbirth, surgery, or aging.

    Here are some important points about transvaginal mesh:

    • It is made of synthetic mesh or human tissue.
    • The mesh acts like a hammock around the urethra, preventing it from opening during stresses on the bladder.
    • The type of mesh used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse is a Type I monofilament, large-pore polypropylene mesh.

  • How does transvaginal mesh work?

    Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic net-like substance that provides extra support to repair weakened or damaged internal tissue.

    It is implanted in a surgical procedure via the vagina and can also be known as transvaginal tape, sling, ribbon, or hammock.

    The mesh is used to reinforce and support the vaginal wall, urethra, or bladder neck.

    Here are some key points about how transvaginal mesh works:

    • Surgical Procedure: The surgery involves making an incision in the vaginal wall and inserting the mesh to help hold up the prolapsed (fallen) organs.
    • Material: Manufacturers typically make them from a plastic called polypropylene.
    • Function: The mesh acts like a hammock around the urethra, preventing it from opening during stresses on the bladder

  • Are there risks associated with using transvaginal mesh?

    Yes, certain factors can increase the risk of pain after Transvaginal Mesh surgery.

    These include younger age, post-operative pain, fibromyalgia, and poor physical health.

    Key points to note about the risk factors of using transvaginal mesh include, but are not limited to:

    • Younger patients may be at a higher risk of pain after surgery.
    • Post-operative pain can be a sign of complications.
    • Conditions like fibromyalgia and poor physical health can also increase the risk of pain after surgery.

  • Can the Transvaginal Mesh be removed if I experience complications?

    Yes, the Transvaginal Mesh can be removed if complications arise.

    However, it’s important to note that the removal process, also known as revision surgery, may not always result in the complete removal of the mesh.

    Here are some key points to consider when discussing Transvaginal Mesh removal due to complications:

    • The FDA reclassified Transvaginal Mesh as a high-risk device in 2019 due to the frequency of complications.
    • Complications can include vaginal mesh erosion, pain, and organ perforation.
    • Younger age, post-operative pain, fibromyalgia, and poor physical health are risk factors for pain after surgery.

  • Is every woman suitable for a procedure involving transvaginal mesh?

    Not every woman is suitable for a procedure involving transvaginal mesh.

    The suitability of this procedure depends on various factors including the woman’s health condition, the severity of her symptoms, and her personal preferences.

    Here are some key points to consider when evaluating the suitability of a transvaginal mesh procedure:

    • Transvaginal mesh procedures are typically used for treating conditions like pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
    • However, these procedures are not without risks and potential complications, which can be debilitating and life-altering.
    • In some countries, such as Australia, transvaginal mesh has been withdrawn for the treatment of most pelvic organ prolapse due to these risks.
    • Alternative non-surgical and surgical treatment options that do not use transvaginal mesh are available.
    • It is crucial for women considering transvaginal mesh to fully understand the procedure, weigh the risks and benefits, and ask their specialist questions.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

You can learn more about the Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit by visiting any of our pages listed below:

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune’s water contamination issue spanned several decades starting in the 1950s. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various serious health issues, including cancer, organ diseases, and death.

Tylenol Lawsuit

Research is increasingly suggesting a link between the use of Tylenol during pregnancy and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and ADHD, in infants.

AFFF Lawsuit

Legal action is being taken against manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), a chemical used in fighting fires. The plaintiffs allege that exposure to the foam caused health issues such as cancer, organ damage, and birth and fertility issues.

Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at TruLaw, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.

Alongside our partner law firms, we have successfully collected over $3 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured individuals.

Would you like our help?

Helpful Sites & Resources