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Benefits and risks - Vaginal mesh implants

Vaginal mesh surgery is currently not available. But it may become available again. We will update this information if the situation changes.

If you have vaginal mesh surgery, you will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team. A urogynaecologist or urologist does the surgery. They are specialists in pelvic floor conditions. The team usually includes physiotherapists and specialist nurses.

Pause on vaginal mesh implants

Benefits of vaginal mesh surgery

A vaginal mesh implant:

  • may be used to treat urinary stress incontinence where other treatments have not worked
  • can help take pressure off the bladder and stop you leaking urine
  • is more effective than other surgical procedures
  • is less invasive than other types of surgery
  • is more long-lasting than non-mesh surgeries

Risks of vaginal mesh surgery

Most women who had mesh surgery had a good outcome. But there are risks with the surgery.

The risks usually depend on:

  • what you are treated for
  • the way the mesh is inserted - through your vagina (transvaginal) or through your tummy (transabdominal)
  • your age and general health

Some of the problems that can happen after mesh surgery include:

  • the mesh can erode or wear through the vaginal wall
  • the mesh can wear into your urethra or bladder
  • pain - sometimes the pain is during sex
  • infections
  • bleeding
  • feeling low because of pain or discomfort

Complications from vaginal mesh surgery

Talking to your doctor

Your doctor or consultant will explain the benefits and risks to you. Ask for written information about your condition and the procedure.

You can also read our guides on:

Tell your doctor about any worries you may have. Make sure you understand everything about the surgery before you leave the appointment.


  • ask your doctor to explain again if there is something you do not understand

  • ask if you can take someone with you for support

  • write down your questions before you go to the appointment so you will not forget anything

Questions you might ask include:

  • how will they insert the mesh?
  • what are the risks involved?
  • what outcome can I expect?
  • who will do the surgery?

Waiting for treatment

After you learn about the benefits and risks of mesh surgery, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. If you decide you want mesh surgery, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms while you wait.


Page last reviewed: 13 October 2023
Next review due: 13 October 2026