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What is a pelvic mesh?

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Quick Answer

Pelvic mesh is usually made of polypropylene plastic and is used surgically to repair a pelvic organ prolapse, or POP, according to Drugwatch. It is often called a transvaginal mesh because of one technique used to implant it.

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Full Answer

Pelvic organ prolapse usually occurs in women after childbirth or menopause, states Drugwatch, because the pelvic muscles are weakened and allow the uterus, bladder or rectum to fall into the vagina. Childbirth increases chances of prolapse by about 50 percent as estimated by medical studies. In women experiencing menopause, the body stops producing as much collagen, which reduces the rate at which tissues can repair stretching or tearing. Symptoms often include feeling bloated, lower backache, constipation, or pulling in the groin.

Initially, treatment was typically surgery where tissues from the patient's body were used to strengthen the pelvic floor to prevent the prolapse from occurring. Starting in the early 2000s, doctor's started using pelvic mesh to provide the support instead, according to Drugwatch.

The FDA has received many complaints about the mesh eroding tissues and perforating organs since its use began, and it has begun an investigation. Currently, the FDA states that there is no evidence to support claims that the mesh is better than other treatments for POP, explains Drugwatch.

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