Move to address concerns over vaginal mesh implants

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.

The Department of Health has confirmed it is looking at addressing the “distressing side-effects” affecting some local women fitted with vaginal mesh implants.

A Sinn Féin delegation recently met with a group representing women from across the North suffering serious side effects from vaginal mesh implants, which are used to treat prolapse and incontinence in women, often after childbirth.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Karen Mullan said the women related “harrowing and personal accounts of their experiences and the devastating effects it has had on their health” and called for clarity on how this will be addressed. She said: “The group raised a number of issues and concerns around the use of mesh implants and we intend to raise these concerns directly with the Department of Health. The physical and emotional pain they have had to endure is terrible. It’s important that the health and wellbeing needs of women affected by mesh implants are met as a matter of urgency.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The Department has been engaging with the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency regarding the ongoing concerns of women who are experiencing adverse effects following these procedures. The HSCB and the PHA are identifying the clinical pathways available for women locally who are experiencing distressing effects and are engaging with local clinicians in developing a consistent high quality approach throughout Northern Ireland.”