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    Vaginal agenesis

    • Overview

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      Vaginal agenesis, also known as mullerian agenesis, mullerian aplasia, or Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, is a rare congenital disorder characterized by the absence of vaginal development and, in some cases, partial or complete absence of the uterus. This condition, present at birth, may also be accompanied by kidney or skeletal anomalies.

      Typically identified during puberty when menstruation fails to commence, vaginal agenesis can be addressed using a vaginal dilator—a tube-like device designed to gradually stretch the vagina over time. This approach often proves successful in creating a functional vaginal canal. Surgical intervention may be necessary in certain instances. With appropriate treatment, individuals with vaginal agenesis can achieve vaginal intercourse and lead fulfilling lives.

    • Symptoms

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      Vaginal agenesis often remains unnoticed until adolescence when affected individuals do not experience menstruation (amenorrhea). Other indications of puberty typically manifest in line with normal female development.

      Vaginal agenesis can exhibit the following characteristics:

      • External genital appearance aligns with typical female traits.
      • The vagina may be shortened, lacking a cervix at its end, or entirely absent, presenting only a slight indentation where a conventional vaginal opening would be situated.
      • Partial or absent development of the uterus might occur. Presence of uterine tissue (endometrium) can lead to monthly cramps or chronic abdominal pain.
      • The ovaries usually develop and function normally, though their location within the abdomen might be atypical. In some cases, the fallopian tubes that facilitate egg passage from the ovaries to the uterus may be absent or underdeveloped.

      Additionally, vaginal agenesis may be linked to other conditions, including:

      • Impaired kidney and urinary tract development
      • Altered spinal, rib, and wrist bone development
      • Auditory impairments
      • Other congenital disorders involving the heart, gastrointestinal tract, and limb growth.
    • When to see a doctor

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      Abnormal symptoms may be a warning sign of potential dangerous diseases. Please contact our team of doctors immediately for detailed advice and update the most accurate and appropriate health care method.

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    • Causes

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      The exact cause of vaginal agenesis remains uncertain; however, it appears that during the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy, the mullerian ducts encounter developmental issues.

      Ordinarily, the lower segment of these ducts evolves into the uterus and vagina, while the upper portion matures into the fallopian tubes. When the mullerian ducts do not develop as expected, it can lead to the absence or partial closure of the vagina, incomplete or missing uterus, or a combination of both conditions.

    • Risk factors

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      While the exact causes are not fully understood, certain risk factors may increase its likelihood. Family history appears to play a role; having a close relative with vaginal agenesis can elevate the risk. Additionally, there might be a genetic component that contributes to this condition. Other associated anomalies, such as kidney or skeletal problems, can also raise the risk of vaginal agenesis. However, for many cases, the precise factors triggering this condition remain unidentified. Early diagnosis and appropriate medical guidance are crucial for managing its effects.

    • Prevention

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      Since the exact causes are not fully understood, specific preventive measures are not available. However, early detection through regular medical checkups and genetic counseling can aid in managing the condition and its potential associated anomalies. Timely interventions, such as the use of vaginal dilators or surgical procedures, can help create a functional vagina and enable a better quality of life for those affected. It’s important for individuals with vaginal agenesis to work closely with healthcare professionals to address their unique needs and concerns.

    • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

    Content Details

    Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

    Last updated on: 07/08/2023