Vaginal Agenesis

1 What is Vaginal Agenesis?

Vaginal agenesis develops before birth. The muscular wall of vagina fails to develop completely.

Vaginal agenesis is also accompanied by small uterus or absence of uterus. After treatment, normal sex life may be established. Most women with this disorder can’t become pregnant however pregnancy may be induced through in-vitro fertilization using a surrogate mother.

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2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of vaginal agenesis include:

  • improper or complete absence of menses,
  • abnormal sex life,
  • unable to become pregnant.

3 Causes

It is a congenital defect that is caused in intrauterine period due to some infections or problems in mother. It is not hereditary.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Making a diagnosis of vaginal agenesis is done by performing several tests, which include:

  • Blood tests - in this test, assessment of chromosomes is done, levels of sex hormones are checked.
  • Ultrasound- this shows the doctor the presence of uterus, ovaries and their development.
  • MRI - it gives a clear picture of the reproductive tract.

5 Treatment

Treatment methods for vaginal agenesis include:

  • Self-dilation - it is a process in which a small round dilator is pressed inside existing vagina for 30 minutes a day. As weeks pass on, larger dilators are used. It may take few months to get the required result.
  • Surgery - it includes skin graft. Surgeon uses skin from buttocks to create a vagina. Incision is made in the required place and the graft is inserted to create a structure. A mold is inserted in the newly formed canal and remains in place for a week. Vaginal dilators are used thereafter.
  • Vecchietti procedure - in this procedure, surgeon places an olive shaped device at vaginal opening. A laparoscope is used thereafter to connect the olive shaped device to a separate traction device on the lower abdomen. This traction device is tightened every day. Gradually pulling the olive shaped device to create an artificial vagina.
  • Bowel vaginoplasty - In a bowel vaginoplasty, the surgeon diverts a portion of colon an opening in the genital area creating new vagina.

6 Lifestyle and Coping

When diagnosed with vaginal agenesis, it might be hard for women to cope and develop a normal lifestyle due to improper sex life and unable to become pregnant. But after treatment, sexual life is normal.

7 Risks and Complications

Smoking, alcohol intake, drug abuse and infections during pregnancy increases the risk of vaginal agenesis.

Not becoming pregnant is the major complication of this disease.