Transvaginal Mesh Implants

Do you or someone you know have a mesh implant? You can help us understand the extent and impact of mesh implants across Australia

100,000 women in Australia have a mesh implant.

Transvaginal mesh is used as an implant to resolve pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. The product design and implantation techniques appear to be responsible for serious, life-altering complications in some women. It is estimated that there may be as many as 100,000 women with the implant. And of these, the proportion of women suffering complications has been variously estimated to be anywhere between 1% and 30%. 

Health Issues Centre has created a Facebook page to try and gather information about the number of women affected, and what their experience has been. We also have an information sheet to help women get the answers and support they they need. Finally, if you would like to provide information anonymously about your experience with mesh, you are invited to complete a confidential survey. We will still be collecting responses after we make our senate inquiry submission as we can continue to make recommendations.

There is no register to systematically capture the number of procedures that have taken place in Australia. Mesh implants have been used since the late 1990s. The procedure is considered to be only partially reversible. Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved use of the mesh, however, more recently it has advised it is monitoring the situation. Women are encouraged to report complications via the TGA website. But note, the serial number of the mesh implanted is required to do so. This can only be obtained through access to medical records.

On 15 February 2017, a senate inquiry was launched into the number of women in Australia with transvaginal mesh implants and related matters.Submissions are due 31 May 2017, with the report and recommendations to follow in November 2017. A guide has been developed to assist women or members of their family to make a submission.

Health Issues Centre encourages and supports women to consider making a submission. If you need assistance with preparing your submission, please contact Health Issues Centre and ask for Francesca Trimboli.

What have we found?

Since April, Health Issues Centre has had over 2100 women complete an anonymous survey, sharing their experience of pelvic mesh.

A full update can be found here.

Media

ABC News - How a vaginal mesh implant destroyed a woman's life

Women urged to speak up on painful transvaginal mesh implant side effects

Radio National Life Matters story

What do we need from you?

Health Issues Centre is a not for profit which has independently funded this research to date. But we need your help to continue the campaign. We are seeking donations to continue this important work throughout May ahead of preparing a senate inquiry submission.

Help us put the spotlight on an issue that is largely under-reported and give mesh-affected women the voice they deserve to have heard.

You can make a donation here.

For more information

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Subscribe to Full Circle

Our monthly newsletter