You may not be ready for Depends (diapers for adults with urinary incontinence) but it is still important to know that the FDA has ordered the pharma company Johnson and Johnson to stop selling its vaginal mesh implant Gynecare Prolift. Vaginal mesh is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP). POP is when your uterus, bladder, urethra, rectum or even the vagina itself begins to drop, fall out of place or “prolapse.” Thirty to forty percent of all women will experience some type of POP in their lifetime, usually after childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause.
In its less severe stage, this condition is also called overactive bladder – you know when you pee when you laugh or sneeze or don’t quite make it to the bathroom. While POP usually happens to older women, it can happen even to young women – not just their grandmothers. Read the story by a 24-year old woman entitled “The Day I Knew My Future Was in Diapers” on the June 27, 2012 Depends community discussion page: http://www.depend.com/womens-solutions/discussion/daily-living/14000000035
Treatment of POP will depend on which organs are involved and the severity. It can include exercises such as kegel or pelvic floor exercises, which are highly recommended when you’re pregnant, as well as eating high-fiber foods, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding lifting heavy weights.
But, if your condition is severe, there are different options, including surgery. But, the FDA issued its first warning about vaginal meshes, whose complications can include mesh erosion, severe infection, vaginal scarring and reoccuring POP, back in October 2008. The FDA has received thousands of complaints not just about Gynecare Prolift but also Avaluta. Now, the FDA has asked J&J to stop selling their vaginal meshes. In 2010, there were 100,000 vaginal mesh operations . Other options should be explored with your doctor.
Remember there’s good chance you’ll experience some type of POP in your lifetime and it can be treated successfully. Many women are too embarrassed to discuss the problem. Don’t be. Explore your options online, talk to other women who have experienced POP in online chat discussions or in person, and of course talk to your doctor.
Wishing you good reproductive health.