While our bodies do not define who we are, they are a significant part of how the world sees us. How we feel about our bodies has a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves, especially during adolescence. For women, feeling wholly female often extends to the functionality of the internal anatomy. For the one in 5,000 to 7,000 girls born with vaginal agenesis, there are a lot of mixed emotions that accompany the diagnosis. Vaginal agenesis is a condition that doctors think develops when a fetus is at around 20 weeks. The vagina doesn’t develop properly, and the uterus either develops only partially or not at all. It’s also known as aplasia or Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. Treatment for vaginal agenesis is available, though. Each case is a little different, so depending on the development of the vagina, the use of vaginal dilators can be a primary treatment option or as part of the maintenance portion of a surgical post-op regimen.
Diagnosing Vaginal Agenesis
Often vaginal agenesis goes unnoticed until teenage years when menstruation never occurs. Sometimes it’s noticed near birth because the newborn doesn’t even have a vaginal opening. The condition often goes hand-in-hand with kidney problems also, so sometimes the issue is noted by a physician during a related examination. It’s important to understand, however, that vaginal agenesis requires a professional’s diagnosis before any treatment is attempted. The body is an incredibly complex machine, and safety is of the utmost importance when considering treatment. For example, there are many natural reasons a 15-year-old girl may not have gotten her period yet. Unauthorized treatment for vaginal agenesis would be inappropriate and potentially harmful.
The condition doesn’t generally affect the clitoris, which is where many women experience the most gratifying sexual feelings. However, it’s not difficult to see how, prior to treatment, vaginal agenesis can have a huge impact on sexual relationships. When you visit a doctor, he or she may recommend blood tests, an ultrasound, and/or an MRI to determine the best treatment options. Vaginal agenesis is a condition that presents differently in everyone, and these tests will confirm or rule out this condition and show the doctor which organs are or are not present.
Often, doctors recommend self-dilation as a first step. If there’s a way to widen and elongate the vagina without surgery, that’s a great place to start. Vaginal dilation starts by pressing a smooth, cylindrical instrument called a dilator against your skin or inside your vagina for 30 minutes to two hours each day. Regular stretching gradually increases the width and length of the vagina. As time goes on, you can switch to larger dilators until the desired result is achieved. If self-dilation doesn’t work, surgery will likely be the next course of action to create a functioning vagina. Dilation is an integral part of maintenance, though, so surgery is often delayed until the patient is mature enough to comply.
Vaginoplasty options vary depending on existing anatomy and professional assessment. If surgery is needed, your surgeon will present you with the options that are best for you, some of which may include post-op vaginal dilation therapy.
Fear of insurance complications and the difficult subject of finances might create the temptation to skip the diagnosis stage. However, we can’t stress enough the importance of proper diagnosis of vaginal agenesis before jumping right to vaginal dilators as the best treatment option. If vaginal dilators are what your doctor prescribes, then BioMoi antimicrobial dilators are available and ready to help you feel like the healthiest and happiest version of you.