Overview

Vaginal agenesis (a-JEN-uh-sis) is a rare disorder that occurs when the vagina doesn't develop, and the womb (uterus) may only develop partially or not at all. This condition is present before birth, and may also be associated with kidney, heart or skeletal abnormalities.

The condition is also known as mullerian aplasia or Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments are available.

After treatment, you may be able to have a normal sex life. Women with a missing or partially missing uterus can't get pregnant. If you have healthy ovaries, however, it may be possible to have a baby through in vitro fertilization using a gestational carrier.

Vaginal agenesis care at Mayo Clinic

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of vaginal agenesis often go unnoticed until girls reach their teens, but don't menstruate (amenorrhea). Some women have monthly cramping or abdominal pain.

When to see a doctor

If you haven't had a menstrual period by age 15, see your doctor.

Causes

It's not clear what causes vaginal agenesis. Scientists think that at some point during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, tubes called the mullerian ducts don't develop properly. Normally, one of these ducts develops into the uterus and vagina, and the other grows into fallopian tubes.

Complications

Prior to treatment, vaginal agenesis may impact your sexual relationships.

After treatment, you should have a normal, satisfying sex life. However, if your uterus is also affected, you won't be able to become pregnant on your own.

Vaginal agenesis care at Mayo Clinic

April 25, 2017
References
  1. What is vaginal agenesis? Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/vaginal-abnormalities-vaginal-agenesis. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Adolescent Health Care. Committee Opinion No. 562: Mullerian agenesis — Diagnosis, management and treatment. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2013;121:1134.
  3. Laufer MR. Diagnosis and management of congenital anomalies of the vagina. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 30, 2016.
  4. Moen MH. Vaginal agenesis treated by coital dilatation in 20 patients. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2014;125:282.
  5. Oelschlager AMA, et al. Primary vaginal dilation for vaginal agenesis: Strategies to anticipate challenges and optimize outcomes. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2016;28:345.