Vaginal agenesis is a rare congenital condition that impacts the development of a baby’s reproductive system. As a result, a baby girl may be born without certain reproductive organs or a vagina. While this condition may be diagnosed after your child is born, often this condition isn’t recognized until puberty. While young women with this condition will still go through puberty, they will not have a period and the majority will not be able to get pregnant. An OBGYN may be the first person to diagnose this condition and they will become a valuable part of you or your daughter’s treatment plan.
What causes vaginal agenesis?
While the genetic cause is still unknown, research has found that 90 percent of children with Mayer-von Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser’s Syndrome (MRKH) also have vaginal agenesis. This congenital disorder may vary from child to child. Some young girls may not have a vagina or uterus while other girls may have part of a uterus but no vagina.
We understand that this can be distressing for both the patient and their family. Despite this genetic abnormality, the patient is still considered female. Of course, this can be confusing and a lot to process, which is why an OBGYN can be a great doctor and specialist to turn to for help, support, and care during this time.
While most patients with vaginal agenesis will not be able to carry a child, if they do have a uterus then they can become pregnant when they choose to have a family. This is something that your OBGYN can discuss once the patient becomes an adult.
Are there treatment options for vaginal agenesis?
Additional testing may need to be performed by your gynecologist before deciding which type of treatments are best for the patient. In most cases, treatment won’t be necessary until the late teens or 20s.
Two of the most common treatment options for vaginal agenesis include,
Self-dilation: Instead of turning to surgery to create a vagina, this device can be placed inside the vagina for hours a day to help stretch the skin and create a vagina.
Surgery: If patients don’t see results with self-dilation then surgery is often the next step. There are a variety of techniques that can be used during a vaginoplasty, and your gynecologist will fully discuss them with you, so you decide together on the ideal surgical technique to provide the optimal results.
Your OBGYN will take an active role in providing you and your teen with any needed care, treatment, and support. Your gynecologist can address your concerns, answer your questions and be an advocate for your health.