Sexual dysfunction. In any list of side effects for pharmaceuticals or medical products, it’s one that always seems to stand out and strike a special fear in many people.

Our sexualities are important facets of our identities and key components of our intimate relationships with our partners. If using a medical product carries a risk of resulting in impotence or sexual dysfunction, it can have enormous consequences on our lives.

Defective hernia mesh can carry these types of risks. In this blog post I review how faulty mesh used in inguinal operations in the groin area can cause serious side effects such as impotence and sexual dysfunction.

What Is Inguinal Hernia Mesh?

Surgical mesh used in inguinal (inner groin) hernia repair operations is designed to provide additional support to damaged or weakened tissue in the area.

Sometimes the mesh is derived from processed and disinfected animal tissue which eventually degrades and is absorbed into the body as new tissue growth occurs to provide strength to the repair.

Synthetic surgical mesh may be made from absorbable or non-absorbable material or a combination of the two. Non-absorbable mesh provides a permanent implant for long-term reinforcement at the repair site and some synthetic hernia mesh products are created with a special curvature design specifically modelled for inguinal hernia repair.

Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Sexual Function

Hernia repair operations using mesh products, when successful, can lead to restored sexual function in patients who were having hernia-related issues prior to surgery.

However, studies have also found that inguinal hernia operations in the groin area, which are much more common in men, do carry a risk for postoperative sexual function if there are complications. Because the surgery is conducted in an area close to the testicular structures and nerves that are significant for sexual function in men, the operation itself carries some risk; moreover, techniques that use hernia mesh as a part of the procedure also carry a risk as the implanted mesh “can cause long-term tissue induration or even shrink as part of a chronic foreign tissue reaction…”

Defective Hernia Mesh Products

Defective mesh products, often made with polypropylene materials, can cause nerve damage in areas key to sexual function if they migrate through tissue or shrink over time.

Some hernia mesh products have been found in some cases to migrate through enough tissue to reach and attach the spermatic cord in men, potentially requiring testicle removal to mitigate intense pain.

Problems with defective mesh can impact both specific tissue and nerves active in sexual stimulation and performance, and also lead to chronic pain and other health problems which may negatively impact a person’s sexual life.

Know Your Legal Rights

Some pain is common and expected post-surgery, but if you or a loved one has experienced chronic pain (greater than three months from the time of surgery) or other side effects that are impacting your sexual function, you may have been a victim of a product that was defectively designed and you may be entitled to compensation.

When you call for a free case review one of our product liability and personal injury lawyers will explain the potential legal remedies available to you.

No amount of compensation and damages will ever make up for the harm you have suffered from a faulty medical product like defective hernia mesh; however, the legal system may provide a way for you to seek a sense of justice for your pain.

For more information or to speak about a hernia mesh lawsuit in Canada, please contact hernia mesh lawyer Paul Miller at 416-646-3901 or by email at