Barbara had the first transvaginal mesh implant for urinary incontinence in 1996 - a common occurrence after having kids. “At the time I was told the procedure would last about 10 years, so when I had more incontinence problems around 2011, it came as no surprise,” says Barbara. “I had a few problems with this first TVM but nothing I couldn’t live with. Intercourse was a bit uncomfortable unless I was in a certain position, but again the discomfort wasn’t bad enough to do anything - besides, what could be done?”
Barbara went through a number of tests to determine whether she was a candidate for another transvaginal mesh surgery. She underwent a second procedure and believes that this time she was implanted with the AMS Sparc Sling System, unfortunately not as successful as the first implant.
“Now intercourse is painful in a way that I didn’t have to suffer through the first time,” Barbara says. “My partner can feel the mesh during intercourse, he says it feels different. It certainly puts a damper on our relationship, to say the least.”
Barbara talked about the sexual intimacy problem with her doctor. Surprisingly, he simply started her on hormone therapy! “He said it is possible that intercourse hurts because I am dry, but we had no problems before this AMS mesh was implanted,” Barbara explains. I took the hormone therapy for six months but took myself off it. It didn’t change anything - in fact HRT is an added danger.”
Barbara is due for an annual checkup at the end of this month; she has a lot of questions to ask her doctor.
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“Granted my issues aren’t as bad as some other women, but what if it gets worse? This transvaginal mesh isn’t even fixing the problem so why do the procedure in the first place? It’s like the doctors were sold a bill of goods from the manufacturers and/or they don’t care what happens to you after the fact. Your sex life doesn’t affect them. Bottom line: I am outraged. Doctors who implant women with this mesh and the people who brought it to market have no type of respect for women or what happens post-surgery.”