Vaginal mesh implants used for pelvic organ prolapse will no longer be used in Australia. According to a statement issued by the Therapeutic Goods Administration:
“The TGA is of the belief that the benefits of using transvaginal mesh products in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse do not outweigh the risks these products pose to patients.”
Why has the TGA banned transvaginal mesh?
The banning followed a review of the transvaginal mesh products by the TGA after hundreds of women reported the surgical implants had resulted in chronic pain and infections, mobility problems, and painful intercourse. The TGA approved the mesh devices from 2005 for prolapse surgery despite their lack of evidence of safety in prolapse cases.
Why were the implants used?
These mesh implants have been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition which affects up to 50% of women who have given birth and whose pelvic floor muscles are damaged, sometimes resulting in the displacement of the uterus, bladder, and rectum.
Mesh riskier than traditional surgery
While transvaginal mesh use is popular with surgeons, according to a 2016 report by Professor Cathryn Glazener PhD:
“Mesh implants to fix pelvic organ prolapse have higher risks than traditional surgery but no extra benefits.”
Those risks include erosion of the mesh into surrounding tissues, frequent infections, painful intercourse, bleeding, bladder problems, urinary tract infections, autoimmune diseases, disability, anxiety, depression, and even death.
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Stella had her mesh implanted in 2011.
“I feel like I’m dying a slow painful death,” Stella wrote.
“Before mesh I was a strong, resilient person. I cannot sit down at all, I can only stand for a few minutes at a time and I cannot walk very far as every step I take increases the pain horrifically. I am desperate.”
Removing the mesh
Due to the excruciating complications, 1 in 15 women who have had pelvic mesh implanted will need surgery to extract it. Although the procedure to implant the mesh takes on average about 30 minutes to complete, the removal may require hours of surgery and is very risky as it can damage nerves and organs such as the bladder and bowel.
Is there a natural way to treat pelvic organ prolapse?
Christine Kent helps women manage their pelvic organ prolapse. Kent is a registered nurse and the author of Saving the Whole Woman: Natural alternatives to surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Christine had a severe uterine prolapse as a result of a bladder suspension surgery and her message to other women is powerful and compelling:
“Many thousands of women from around the world have successfully used my methods to manage their prolapse, cancel scheduled surgeries and live full, physically and sexually active lives.”
Christine has spent years researching the causes of pelvic organ prolapse. She discovered that with the restoration of female posture along with an improvement in muscle function it is possible to prevent and alleviate most pelvic organ prolapse.
Problems with modern female posture
Kent describes her Whole Woman research as “revolutionary” and claims that pelvic organ prolapse is a postural problem. She argues that instead of attempting to manage prolapse by Kegels exercises or by surgery, the condition is one that can be corrected by postural methods.
Why does her method work?
“The answer is simple and it is based on one of the greatest scientific blunders of all time.”
This she cites as the “myth of the pelvic floor” and puts the blame for this misunderstanding on surgeons from the 16th century who imagined and drew the pelvis shaped like a bowl opening up at the bottom.
“The true pelvic floor are the pubic bones that come together underneath us like straps of a saddle.”
Understanding our anatomy in terms of a pelvic floor has led to the belief that pelvic organ prolapse involves organs falling down and if we do our Kegel exercises we can keep them in. In reality, the organs are falling back.
“In proper female anatomy, the bladder rests securely atop the pubic bones and the uterus falls forward on top of the bladder.”
When we are taught natural female posture that sees the chest lifted and the resumption of the normal curvature of the spine, our pelvic organs return to their rightful place as described above. Kent’s practice of returning to natural female posture includes many lifestyle changes, such a the importance of nutrition and exercise and a return to natural birthing practices. It has taken many years of living in our modern world to get us to this place of disease.
“Most women in the developed world are fundamentally misshapen, which comes as no surprise given the cultural trappings of our time.”
Christine Kent and her organisation Whole Woman claim that all women can benefit from learning to be in our natural female posture and that women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse can be helped by putting in the effort. Surgery, she claims, cannot help prolapse but attention to our natural female anatomy and posture as we go about our day walking, sitting, carrying, and standing.
Surgery has not been the answer for thousands of women worldwide. A class action lawsuit involving more than 700 women is currently underway in Sydney, Australia. The women claim the manufacturer of the mesh product did not carry out proper clinical trials on the possible complications of the mesh.
“We can travel from physical therapist to chiropractor to urogynecologist and back again, but in the final analysis only we, ourselves can learn to live well moment-to-moment within the natural shape of our original design.”
You can read more about this very natural way to manage pelvic organ prolapse by visiting Whole Woman Inc.
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