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New Zealand Becomes The First Country To Ban Vaginal Mesh

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New Zealand has banned the use of vaginal mesh as a treatment of prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Medsafe, the country’s medical watchdog, confirmed that the mesh would stopped being supplied by early January.

‘As a consequence of the Australian TGA review of surgical mesh for urogynaecological use, and subsequent regulatory action, there is a case for Medsafe to question the safety of certain devices,’ Medsafe said in a statement.

At the end of November an Australian watchdog banned the use of vaginal mesh for prolapse following an investigation into the treatment.

Vaginal mesh has been subject to much controversy following reports from women who have had to have the implant removed following major complications, with some left unable to have sex or even walk.

42-year old Canadian Chrissy Brajcic, a campaigner against the dangers of vaginal mesh, tragically died earlier this month following a four year battle with infections brought on by a vaginal mesh implant.

Currently used to treat prolapse and incontinence in around 10,000 women per year in the UK, a transvaginal mesh procedure involves implanting a netted mesh device made from polypropylene into the vaginal wall.

Back in October the Labour Party called for an independent inquiry into the ‘public health scandal’ surrounding the use of vaginal mesh implants and this week a PanoramaPanorama program investigated the issue.

The Panorama episode revealed that the distributor of vaginal mesh in the UK, Ethicon, failed to tell doctors about the full extent of the risks of its Gynecare TVT mesh, which can include nerve damage, chronic pain and organ erosion. It also exposed how one of its implants was launched in 2006 after only being tested on 31 women and sheep before being used in patients – later being withdrawn from the market in 2012.

READ MORE: Vaginal Mesh Was Only Tested On 31 Women – And Sheep – Before Widespread Use

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READ MORE: Labour Calls For A Public Inquiry Into Vaginal Mesh Implants