Of all the congenital anomalies a woman can inherit, vaginal agenesis is just one. It can be one of the symptoms among a wider range of reproductive complications a woman may have to face. It is said to affect around 1 out of every 5000 newborns. Now, you might be anxious that it’s going to affect your daughter’s future marital life. Set the worries aside because it’s curable so much so that the girl herself will forget that she was diagnosed with Vaginal Agenesis at any stage of her life.
Vaginal Agenesis is a situation where the vagina gets misconfigured during embryonic development. It either does not develop at all marked by a complete absence of vagina or is partially developed where the lower part of the vagina may be missing. Along with this, other reproductive organs can also be underdeveloped. However, the girl will have normal external genitalia and will undergo the natural cycle of puberty except having menstruation.
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What are the Causes of Vaginal Agenesis?
- ● Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome: Mullerian Ducts which form the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and a certain portion of vagina fail to develop properly during the gestation period.
- ● Bardet-Biedl Syndrome: A genetic disorder that affects the reproductive and urinary system. The capacity of ovaries to produce enough eggs is reduced. Fallopian tubes and uterus can also be underdeveloped. This can also be associated with kidney issues.
- ● Infants who often have eyes covered with skin or fingers fused with each other carry the chances of being diagnosed with Vaginal Agenesis.
What are the Symptoms of Vaginal Agenesis?
- ● Sepsis in infants: It is a condition in which the body starts harming its own tissues while trying to counter infections. Sepsis is identified with increased breathing rate and heart rate.
- ● Swelling in the abdomen or a sensation of heaviness in the lower abdominal area in the case when the uterus is not connected to the vaginal canal.
- ● Respiratory distress in infants
- ● A small oval structure at the place of the vaginal opening
- ● Among adolescents, symptoms of Vaginal Agenesis include missing periods despite arriving at puberty or even if menstruation commences, the blood gets filled in the upper vagina
- ● Difficulty in having sexual intercourse.
How is Vaginal Agenesis Diagnosed?
How is Vaginal Agenesis Treated?
- ● The non-surgical method includes vaginal dilation. Dilators which are in the shape of tampons are used to create a cavity precisely where the vagina should have existed naturally. These are pressed regularly until satisfactory space is not created.
- ● Vaginoplasty or artificial construction of the vagina is carried out if non-surgical methods fail to accomplish the task. This is done either by taking out skin from buttocks and making a vagina out of it (skin grafting) or by closing one end of the bowel and by making the lower end of the colon as the vaginal opening.