A mother-of-two claims the agony of a vaginal mesh led her to binge drink up to 15 bottles of wine a week.
Emma Hawksworth, 36, of Southport, Merseyside, opted to have the mesh after the traumatic birth of her daughter Sophie, now nine, resulted in her suffering internal prolapses.
But just weeks after it was implanted, Mrs Hawksworth claims she began suffering from pain, headaches, fatigue and bowel issues.
And 18 months later, she battled both shingles and two breast abscesses, as well as an allergy to milk, beef and wheat – all of which she blames on her vaginal mesh.
With painkillers having no effect, Mrs Hawksworth ‘was left with no choice’ but to self-medicate with multiple bottles of wine a night, setting the self-employed cleaner back £300 a month.
Five years since the operation, Mrs Hawksworth is desperate to have the synthetic mesh removed.
After her husband Matt, 38, threatened to leave unless she cut back on alcohol, Mrs Hawksworth claims she ‘barely drinks now’.
Speaking of her drinking problem, Mrs Hawksworth said: ‘I was left with no choice but to drink up to three bottles of wine per night to cope with the pain and stress.
‘It all started around 18 months after the mesh was inserted and I was sick of being fobbed off by different consultants.’
Different doctors dismissed her symptoms as everything from IBS and depression to carpel tunnel and nerve damage.
‘I was just being constantly bounced around and it all got on top of me – having a drink would help me sleep at night because it would forget about the pain,’ Mrs Hawksworth said.
Although her husband has been supportive throughout the ordeal, even he decided enough was enough.
‘[He] gave me an ultimatum to sort things because it was becoming a strain on our marriage,’ Mrs Hawksworth said.