Documentary The Transvaginal Mesh Decade

By Carolyn Chisholm

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Prolapse and Stress Incontinence a common problem in women

More than 30% of women have a prolapse or stress incontinence after childbirth. If the fascia or ligaments of the pelvic floor are torn or stretched and if your pelvic floor muscles are weak, then your pelvic organs might not be held in their right place and they may bulge or sag down into the vagina. Transvaginal mesh is a popular choice of treatment by surgeons instead of using native tissue to hold the organs in place. The surgery is quicker and cost effective.

No long term studies yet transvaginal mesh is approved for use in Australia

The Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia's peak health regulators approved these mesh devices for women's prolapse surgery more than a decade ago despite no evidence of their safe use in prolapse cases, and clear warnings of the need for controlled trials on related mesh devices. Women are now suffering severe and debilitating complications from these devices and they have to live with this consequence for the rest of their lives because there are no full removal surgeons in Australia. The complications are managed by repeat surgeries. Complications include but are not limited to - mesh erosion, chronic debilitating pain, infection, bleeding, painful sex, urinary problems, nerve damage, vaginal shrinkage/scarring, tissue necrosis, foreign body reaction, autoimmune disorders, recurrence of prolapse/stress incontinence, disability, sepsis, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, death. Women are having revision surgery after revision surgery because surgeons here refuse to learn how to fully remove these implants. They are telling women that full removal is not possible yet there is video evidence of full removal surgeries overseas that prove this statement is not true.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

Two mesh injured women will be travelling in a campervan for one month throughout some states of Australia to film the real stories of injured women's lives and the damage that revision surgeries are causing to the precious parts of the women that have given life. They will also be interviewing government health representatives and surgeons who are willing to participate.

And here's how it’s going to change the way Australia thinks about pelvic mesh

This documentary will be raw, thought provoking and shocking to viewers who know nothing about transvaginal mesh and the devastation it is causing our treasured mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers. It will be presented to the Minister for Health, the Minister for Women, The Therapeutic Goods Administration, RANZCOG and PLAC. Our focus is to bring a renowned international mesh removal surgeon to Australia to safely remove the implants from these damaged women. Mesh injured women have a mantra now. We would rather live in pain without mesh than in pain with mesh. Every single woman we know who has had full removal has not regretted their decision. The residual pain is a reminder that we need to continue to fight for help for those who still have mesh implants and need to get them out.

You can join us

If you would like to be part of the documentary, please contact [email protected] for further information.


Unfortunately due to illness, the making of the documentary is currently on hold until further notice. In the meantime we have been very fortunate to have the support of Senator Derryn Hinch who gave fantastic speech on Tuesday 22nd of November 2016 to the Senate and called for a Senate inquiry into Transvaginal Mesh.

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Team Members

Carolyn Chisholm

Toni Shannon