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During pregnancy, a baby's reproductive system may not finish developing in the mother's uterus. She may be born without a vagina and have other absent reproductive organs. This condition is called vaginal agenesis.
It's perfectly normal for your daughter to feel anxious and or sad when she hears this diagnosis and grasps that she will not be able to become pregnant and carry a child. Gender identity and body image issues are also expected, but it's important for you and your daughter to know that she is a genetic female with the ability to experience normal sexual feelings. After successful treatment, no future sexual partner will be able to tell that she was born with vaginal agenesis.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches vaginal agenesis:
The staff at the Center for Congenital Anomalies of the Reproductive Tract is committed to working with females up to age 22 who are born with an anomaly of a reproductive organ, including vaginal agenesis. The multidisciplinary team of gynecologists, radiologists, nurse specialists and social workers here at Boston Children’s Hospital are dedicated and have the expertise to treat your daughter with exceptional medical care and with respect. The team understands that this is a sensitive diagnosis. The Center is equipped to provide a full range of services including testing, treatment, counseling and follow-up, not only caring for the physical effects, but also providing much needed understanding and emotional support for the teen and her family.
Children’s Center for Congenital Anomalies of the Reproductive Tract at Children’s Hospital Boston is the largest referral center for pediatric and adolescent MRKH in the United States. While it is a condition hidden from the public eye, it can be psychologically devastating for the young women and her family. Learn more about coping strategies for parents and guardians of children with MKRH.
Vaginal agenesis: Reviewed by Marc Laufer, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2011
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