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Improved vaginal mesh in development

Wednesday February 14th, 2018

A new form of vaginal mesh could benefit women with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, overcoming side-effects associated with earlier products, researchers report today.

The mesh is made of a new material that is thought to perform better than the current material used for vaginal meshing, polypropylene, which has caused complications for thousands of women.

The new softer and more elastic material was developed by scientists at the University of Sheffield, UK, to be much closer to human tissue. It is based on polyurethane and also contains oestrogen to speed up the healing process.

Details appear today (14 February) in the Journal of Neurourology and Urodynamics. The team explain that vaginal meshes made from polyurethane are "better equipped to sustain the pelvic organs - the bladder, bowel and vagina - exerting pressure on the pelvic floor every day".

Professor Sheila MacNeil states: "For many years now, surgeons have been treating the problems of urinary stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse using the only synthetic material they had to hand - polypropylene.

"Surgeons who are experts in this area have concluded that there is a need for a new synthetic material that is better suited for use in the pelvic floor. Over the last seven years, we have investigated a range of materials and for the past few years, we have focused our efforts on polyurethane, using the method of electrospinning to create a fine mesh which we have fabricated in layers to mimic the structure of human tissue.

"We have shown through our research that it does not provoke inflammation and retains its strength and elasticity. The addition of oestrogen is a major breakthrough as we have proved its beneficial effects in regenerating pelvic tissue."

MacNeil, S. et al. Journal of Neurourology and Urodynamics 14 February 2018

Tags: UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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