I had a TVT mesh implant in 2005, during an hysterectomy because of Endometriosis of the womb through NHS England, in United Kingdom. A TVT mesh implant is polypropylene.
Polypropylene is a plastic.
Since being implanted I’ve had continual pain in the area (the groin) and blood in my urine. I have undergone several surgerical investigations which have all stated that the mesh is exactly as it should be and isn’t the issue causing my pain.
I’ve become intermittently incontinent which means I have days when I can hold my bladder and others when I cannot. However, all days are extremely painful – hard to stand up painful.
My daughter came across an article from America (in 2018) which stated thousands of women had been arguing with the makers of the TVT mesh and asking for compensation for injuries. So, since then I’ve been trying to get an NHS doctor or a consultant to talk to me about this.
Could it be the TVT mesh causing my groin and bladder pain?
Initially, when I challenged my implanting surgeon, the response was helpful. After collecting evidence of continual pain and the many (double figures) investigations/consultations/operations for bladder pain over the last sixteen years and showing him, he agreed that there was a possibility of the mesh injury and referred me to a consultant to look into removal of the TVT and he wrote a letter to that end.
That letter was written in 2018, now over three years ago.
I’m still waiting for a referral to a mesh removal clinic.
My day is spent dying to go to the loo. It doesn’t matter if I’ve just been or not, I still urgently need to go. You’ve possibly had a similar experience if you’ve ever had a sexually transmitted disease. Now imagine the mental torture of decades of that feeling. That is the life of women and men who’ve been implanted with this mesh around their privates.
Things which used to work, like diazepam, no longer work to relax the bladder. There is no release from the pain. Light or dark, the pain seers into the hours, intruding and tainting every single day.
The British Health Secretary, Matt Hancock at the time, apologised in April 2020 and insisted that people like myself suffering with this polypropylene mesh inside us should be listened to and promised us the best care from now on.
The past year I’ve been spent hours on the phone attempting to get the mesh removal clinic and my GP surgery to correspond effectively. Trying to save mental anguish, I’ve been marking a fortnight’s appointment with myself, in my diary between calls and trying to forget it inbetween. Not easy, as my bladder is physically constantly reminding me.
And now, quite frankly, I feel like a cash cow.
My GP surgery requested me to sign forms for extra funding. Apparently being implanted with TVT mesh is outside of the NHS normal remit although I was implanted by the NHS. I signed the forms. My GP then insisted I attend a community gynae clinic where they could refer me to the mesh removal clinic as my GP ‘wasn’t allowed’ to do it directly.
I travel to a face-to-face appointment with a consultant who didn’t bother to face me for the five minutes I sat in his company.
Although apologising for dragging me to the clinic and for the ongoing problems I am having accessing help he couldn’t refer me. The reason? His forms weren’t working. I don’t know who he was. No paperwork – as it was organised by text message. I have requested paperwork, twice.
It was a further six weeks before a referral went off from them, although it is not received by the mesh removal clinic at the University College Hospital London as they refused it because it’s incorrectly filled in. I’ve complained, cried and got extremely depressed but that’s all there is.
I’ve no more news to tell. The referral lies somewhere in the London NHS ether. After all, they don’t get paid extra to do their jobs in the NHS do they? I will call them all again next week.
Tortured soul, Watford, UK.
Thank you for reading about this very personal issue I have to deal with. It helps me a great deal writing about it. To me, the medical profession are extremely ignorant and unhelpful in this matter having also refused me mental health help, leaving me this as my coping mechanism.