Treatment Options For Women With Vaginal Agenesis
Vaginal agenesis is a complex condition that causes the muscular canal (vagina) within the pelvis to not form properly during fetal development. As a result, vaginal agenesis is usually diagnosed shortly after birth or during adolescence. This condition varies from patient to patient. In some instances, patients are born with a small uterus or no uterus at all, which can make having sex and becoming pregnant difficult. Other complications with the cervix, kidneys, and spine may be present in patients with this condition.
While physicians and researchers are still working on techniques to successfully transplant a healthy uterus into patients with vaginal agenesis, current treatment options for this condition depend on the severity of the disorder itself. Fortunately, many young women with vaginal agenesis have normal ovaries and normal external genitalia. For these women, going through puberty is similar to other young girls in that they will develop breasts, and underarm and pubic hair normally. The only exception would be that these women will not have periods.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, vaginal agenesis affects 1 out of 5,000 to 7,000 female infants. Parents may become concerned when they hear their child’s diagnosis, but the urogynecology surgeon at Specialty Surgical Center can assure parents their child is genetically female and that with successful treatment, she will lead a relatively normal life. Still, the team recognizes patients with this condition may struggle with it psychologically. If that’s the case, our urogynecology partners will be able to connect the patient and her family with the appropriate counseling resources.
As we mentioned previously, treatment depends on the patient’s form of vaginal agenesis. Generally speaking, treatment for vaginal agenesis includes:
Self-Dilation: Women with a dimple in the area where the vagina would be could use a small tube called dilator to create a vagina. A physician may advise using the dilator 15 to 20 minutes a day and after taking baths when the skin around the vagina is soft and pliable.
Vaginoplasty With Skin Grafting: A vagina can be created using skin from the patient’s buttocks or artificial skin. During the procedure, a surgeon will make a small incision where the opening of the vagina should be and place a mold with the skin grafts attached. After 7 days, the mold is removed.
Bowel Vaginoplasty: A vagina can be created removing part of the lower colon and inserting in the place where the vaginal opening would be. A mold is then placed for 3 days to help the vagina take shape. Afterward, the mold is removed.
For more information about treatment options for vaginal agenesis, please call Specialty Surgical Center to schedule an appointment with our urogynecology surgeon.
Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey, and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.
For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.