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Stress urinary incontinence & pelvic organ prolapse

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Stress Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Stress urinary incontinence (incontinence) and pelvic organ prolapse (prolapse) are experienced by many women in Scotland. Incontinence is the leaking of urine when the bladder is under pressure, for example when coughing, sneezing, or during exercise. Prolapse is when one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus/ womb, or lower bowel) bulges into the vagina causing discomfort.

Various operations can be provided for incontinence and prolapse.  Some of the newer types of operations involve the insertion of synthetic mesh.  The use of mesh may bring benefits but may also carry higher risks than other, non-mesh, operations.  In 2014, the Scottish Government set up the Independent Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants ('the Review'). The Review was asked to examine the safety and effectiveness of mesh surgery for incontinence and prolapse. Information Services Division was asked to help the Review by examining routine NHS information collected on patients treated for these conditions.

The Review published an interim report in October 2015 and a final report in March 2017.  The full results of ISD’s analysis were also published in December 2016 in The Lancet

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