Transvaginal mesh implants

Introduction

In recent years there has been some growing concerns about the use of transvaginal mesh implants, which are used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Following the public petition in Scottish Government about concerns raised with complications related to use of transvaginal mesh for both POP and SUI, the Scottish Government completed an independent review. This looked into the safety, use and efficacy (effectiveness) of transvaginal implants.

The report which was published in March 2017 made recommendations around managing patient who are considering surgery for SUi and POP and those suspected of having mesh related complications.

Some of the conclusions made by the independent review include:

  • Shared decision making with health professionals and patient choice is essential when choosing treatments
  • In the case of surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence, individuals must be offered all appropriate treatments (mesh and non-mesh) as well as the information to make treatment option choices about their treatment
  • In the surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, current evidence does not show any extra benefit from the use of transvaginal implants (prolypropylene mesh or biological graft) over native tissue repair. Transvaginal mesh procedures must not be offered routinely

Further information, including the full independent review, is available from the Scottish Government website.

What to do if you have concerns

If you’re experiencing symptoms or health issues with a mesh implant, please contact your GP or consultant.

Mesh Fund

The Scottish Government has announced a fund to support women affected by mesh complications.

Affected women can apply for £1,000 payment from the fund. You’re entitled to apply for payment if:

  • you’ve received a transvaginal mesh implant either from or on behalf of an NHS Scotland Health Board, and
  • you’ve experienced complications resulting from that implant and, at your own expense, you’ve had to pay for emotional or practical support

This is a one-off fund, which will run until the 30 June 2021. After this date no further payments will be made.

All applications must have been received by 31 May 2021 to allow for confirmation and payment by the 30 June 2021. No applications will be accepted after this date.

Further resources