Health Questions and Answers

Question: Which lesions in the vagina result from abnormal development? How are they treated?

Answer:

  1. Imperforate hymen: Usually recognized after puberty when retention of menses leads to hematocolpos. Accumulation of retained secretions may also lead to hematometra and hematosalpinx. Inspection of the introitus reveals an imperforate hymen with a bulging fluid mass in the vagina.▪ Treatment-cruciate incision of the imperforate hymen.
  2. Septate vagina: May be complete or incomplete, with a soft tissue septum running from the introitus to the cervix. Many patients have two cervices, one on either side of the septum.▪ Treatment-if asymptomatic, no treatment is necessary.
  3. Transverse vaginal septum: A rare congenital defect in which a septum divides the vagina into upper and lower compartments. May be complete or incomplete; in the latter case, an opening in the septum permits menstrual flow. Pregnancy may occur. Delivery may require cesarean section.▪ Treatment-resection of the septum.

Reference: Tovell HMM, Young AW: Diseases of the Vulva in Clinical Practice. New York, Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc., 1991.

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