Women are cannon fodder in the mesh implant disaster, says Spanish doctor

Spanish Dr, Juan Gérvas, has spoken out about the lack of respect for women in the mesh implant scan

Spanish Dr, Juan Gérvas, has spoken out about the lack of respect for women in the mesh implant scandal. he says mesh kits were approved too quickly on the back of low quality trials. - Credit: Archant

A Spanish doctor has hit out at vaginal mesh kits saying women have been used as human cannon fodder in a product that was mass launched with barely any safety trials.

Juan Gervas joined the global debate saying women are mocked and ignored when they present with pain and says mesh kits are a prime example of misogyny in medicine.

Mesh is a problem in Spain too, he said, but in 2014 the Government ordered they must not be used as the first option and only after other treatments had failed.

Retired GP and visiting professor of Public Health, Dr Gérvas, said: “Women are the cannon fodder of a medicine that gets mad at them, that abuses on the basis of gender and that makes a mockery of their suffering.

“There is contempt for women’s problems and of underestimation of damages.

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“Mesh kits were approved in a limbo about the real impact on patients’ lives. Its is an example of physician arrogance and disdain for females.

“My view is that they should never have been approved and never marketed. They have very weak scientific base, with short term studies generally supported by industry.”

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And he added that documents prove the industrial and medical “recklessness” and of abuse and derision of women.

“For example, at Johnson & Johnson anal sex was proposed as an alternative to vaginal problems, and such advice was given by doctors to patients.

“What it suggests is that a woman is nothing but a receptacle to satisfy men.

“Advice of this style reflects part of the scorn with which the problem was despised, typical of the machismo of many gynaecologists and urologists of both sexes.”

And on the UK Government decision to not consider a suspension, the retired Madrid medic said: “The right decision should be to ban mesh implants, UK should join New Zealand.

“They need to look at studies that show mesh can shrink and degrade.”

There is currently talk of a “new mesh” being trialled at Sheffield University where researchers are developing a material made of polyurethane.

But Dr Gervas said: “This product should never marketed without appropriate testing. The Government will repeat history with polyurethane mesh, read carefully the press report from the university, as an example of hype.”

Until now the work is just experimental, with artificial tissue, in chicken embryos, not even in animals, he said.

“Women’s perineum are a very important anatomic region, as is the vagina, and merits a careful approach when having medical problems,” he added.

“We need randomised clinical trials of enough size and duration to test the best answers with follow up studies to be sure it works in the real world.”

Episiotomies, the daily bread of birthing rooms, is causing more harm than good, he added, and questioned their validity in vaginal birth as he said it could cause greater long term risks of women suffering SUI or prolapse in later life.

Studying episiotomy: when beliefs conflict with science

See the blog page of Dr Gervas here.

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