In the early 1990’s, scientists developed transvaginal mesh implants as surgical implants that use a mesh material from either inorganic or biological materials. TVM is typically used for one of two main reasons; one as a result of P.O.P., that is Pelvic Organ Prolapse or two, urinary incontinence.
It is no coincidence that weak pelvic floor muscles more often than not cause both of these two conditions. This weakness is prevalent among millions of women, usually resulting from childbirth, the aging process, or other lifestyle factors.
Ordinarily, vaginal prolapse is treated by surgery, but in some cases, the prolapse can reoccur after surgery when certain risk factors are present, namely: obesity, constipation, chronic cough, or excessive straining of the abdomen or repeated heavy lifting.
As for the question of when should a procedure involving the implantation of transvaginal mesh be carried out, two definite opinions are voiced. The first is that it should be reserved for the above-described condition that is of a recurrent prolapse or with women who are more prone to the risk factors of a recurrent prolapse. The second opinion and seemingly growing in popularity is that this procedure is performed at the first occurrence of a prolapse or weakening of the vaginal walls.
As for the actual surgical procedure, the term transvaginal refers to the fact that the mesh passes through the vagina before being implanted. An incision is made to allow the mesh to add additional support to the bladder and vaginal walls.
Post-surgical symptoms such as swelling or minor bleeding are said to be normal, as well as the possibility of a white discharge, resulting from the stitches present in the vagina, though it usually clears up after 4 to 6 weeks.
It is important to be aware of possible complications that might arise as a result of the implant that may include the following; painful intercourse, infection, vaginal scarring and shortening, painful intercourse, excessive or ongoing vaginal discharge and drainage, erosion of the mesh into the bladder, vagina, or bowel and others
Although there isn’t widely available data for the numbers of women who have undergone this procedure, in 2010 at least 300,000 women were reported to have had the surgery done. According to general statistics that are available the success rate is between 80% to 95%. This is a high success rate and indicates that one should observe due diligence in their decision to or not to undergo this surgery.