The Uses of Vaginal Mesh and Complication Concerns

When it comes to medical information, there’s a lot to take in. This is especially true if you do your own research online and try to either diagnose yourself or come up with the right treatment for what you believe you have. As anyone who has ever been accused of cyberchondria, the new internet-focused buzzword for hypochondriacs who seek out as much medical information as they can find, can tell you, you often read about worst case scenarios and assume it could happen to you.

This scenario plays out a fair bit when it comes to the topic of vaginal mesh. The topic of vaginal mesh is a complicated one. It’s been used for over fifty years to successfully treat certain common urogynecological issues. However, in that time there have been noted complications in some women, which has caused the FDA to issue some guidance on the subject. Essentially, yes, vaginal mesh is safe and it does help, but factors such as the experience of the surgeon and placement of the mesh do play a part in the complications that some women experience.

It’s highly recommended you speak with a surgeon that specializes in urogynecology and has experience with vaginal mesh procedures in order to get all of the facts you need as well the opportunity to express any concerns or ask questions. Remember, you have a choice and you may opt not to go for mesh. Your urogynecologist can work with you to come up with an alternative. Additionally, if you’ve already had mesh inserted and you are experiencing discomfort, speak to your urogynecologist about correcting any issues you may have. Together, you can come up with the treatment plan that works best for you.

What does vaginal mesh do?

Vaginal mesh is primarily used as a means of fortifying the vaginal wall. Support is also given to the pelvic floor. Mesh is made up of a mix of materials, in some instances synthetic. The research has been mixed on what exactly is the implication of using synthetic materials in vaginal mesh. However, the use of mesh has been standard practice in some capacity for nearly half a century. It has long been a go to treatment option for conditions that are caused by weakness in the vaginal wall or pelvic floor. Here are some of the conditions where your urogynecologist might suggest the use of vaginal mesh.

What conditions is vaginal mesh used for?

Weakness in the musculature can cause a variety of conditions where fortification would help alleviate some of the symptoms. The two most common conditions where mesh is used are incontinence and prolapse. But that’s a bit general. For example, not every type of incontinence would be treated with mesh because causes differ. Stress incontinence is the type where vaginal mesh is usually recommended. This is also the most common type of incontinence because multiple childbirths can bring it about. Essentially, there is urine leakage when stress is placed on the body such as from lifting heavy things, strenuous exercise and even laughing hard in some cases. That’s because the pelvic muscles aren’t as strong as they were so they need the additional support.

Similarly, pelvic organ prolapse is caused by a weakened structure. The muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic organs can give way, causing organs to shift out of place and droop. Additional symptoms may include incontinence, painful sex, and pain that travels up the back or abdomen.

What complications can arise from vaginal mesh?

You may be seeking help from your urogynecologist because the vaginal mesh you already have is giving you issues. This can be corrected by either adjusting the mesh or finding an alternative treatment entirely. But there are some symptoms that many women have reported if their mesh comes out of place or if it was inserted in such a manner that it came loose.

You may experience pain, mesh erosion, bleeding, pain during sex, some urinary problems, and there is the possibility of infection. Again, many factors go into mesh causing complications. Often, it was the manner in which it was installed. Speak to your urogynecologist if you have any concerns.


Your comfort and well-being are of the utmost importance. While vaginal mesh is a sound and effective treatment for a multitude of conditions, like with all medical treatments it has the possibility of coming with some complications. That shouldn’t dissuade you from opting for vaginal mesh as a treatment because it has been successfully used for decades. Whether you’re suffering from a condition that could be alleviated with vaginal mesh or you’re experiencing complications from mesh inserted by another doctor, we’re here to provide you with the care that you need so you can feel your best. Contact us today. The team at Southeast Urogyn is here to listen to your concerns and provide you with the proper treatment. Schedule an appointment today.

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