May 21st, 2017
Do you or someone you know have a transvaginal mesh implant? You can help us understand the extent and impact of mesh implants across Australia by completing the Health Issues Centre anonymous survey before May 26th 2017, to help inform the senate inquiry.
How do I know if I have been affected?
You may have heard in the media about Australian and New Zealand women suffering ongoing pain and health issues in relation to transvaginal mesh implants. We would like to reassure you that not every woman who has transvaginal mesh will have problems. It is clear that some women do, and that it is affecting their health and their lives significantly. If you are concerned and would like to discuss this with someone, please email Liz Howard via firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the first steps is to find out how many women are affected; how they are affected; and importantly, what can be done to help.
WHRIA is taking a pro-active approach with the help of Prince of Wales Private Hospital, and the Royal Hospital for Women, our surgeons are learning techniques to remove mesh where possible, as well as utilising natural therapies, free home-based pain management resources to address women’s pain, physical and mental health as a whole.
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.
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 the HIC found?
Since April, Health Issues Centre has had over 1600 women complete an anonymous survey, sharing their experience of pelvic mesh.
A full update can be found here.
For more information