Vertical/Complete Vaginal Septum

  • Overview

    If your daughter has a vertical or complete vaginal septum, she has a wall of tissue running down the length of the vaginal canal, partitioning the space into two vaginas.

    • Your daughter may realize she has duplicate vaginas when she inserts a tampon during her period and blood still leaks from her vagina. She may try two tampons and find that one vagina is too narrow to fit it in.
    • Some women have no symptoms of a vertical or complete vaginal septum. During sexual activity, the septum may tear and create one vagina. She may find that her partner's penis will always fall to one side or the other since one side of the vagina may be larger.
    • A vertical septum may not need to be removed unless it causes pain during sexual activity.
    • Women born with a vertical or complete vaginal septum also have duplications in the upper reproductive tract, meaning that she will have two cervices and two uteri.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches vertical or complete vaginal septum

    At Children's Center for Congenital Anomalies of the Reproductive Tract, an interdisciplinary team of pediatricians, gynecologists, urogynecologists and colorectal surgeons will work to find the best treatment for your daughter's vertical or complete vaginal septum.


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    Boston Children's Hospital 
    300 Longwood Ave.
    Boston MA 02115
     617-355-7648
     fax: 617-730-0186
  • In-Depth

    What are the symptoms of vertical or complete vaginal septum?

    Common symptoms include:

    • pain upon inserting a tampon
    • menstrual blood leaks out even with a tampon inserted

    What causes vertical or complete vaginal septum?

    • A vertical or complete vaginal septum forms during embryological development when the tubes that eventually become a vagina don't fuse together properly.
    • The cause of this genetic abnormality is unknown.

    How will vertical or complete vaginal septum affect my daughter's sex life and fertility?

    • Having a vertical or complete vaginal septum may not affect her sexual life at all. However, some women with a vertical septum experience pain during sex.
    • Women with a vertical septum can have a normal reproductive life. But because there are two uteri and two cervices, there is a higher risk for premature delivery or breech presentation (when the baby's feet come out first), which usually requires a Caesarean section.
    • Women with two cervices need a Pap smear from both the left and right cervix.
  • Tests

    How does a doctor know that my daughter has vertical or complete vaginal septum?

    During an examination, your daughter's gynecologist can confirm that a wall of fibrous tissue is partitioning the vagina into two canals.

  • Vertical or complete vaginal septum treatment at Boston Children's Hospital

    The Center for Congenital Anomalies of the Reproductive Tract offers a surgical procedure to "resect," or remove, the fibrous tissue dividing your daughter's vagina.

    The surgery needs to remove the entire septum. If all the tissue isn't removed, there could be a band of tissue running along the top and bottom of the vagina, and this may make sex uncomfortable. This is why the gynecologist at Children's will remove the entire septum and bring the two sides of the vagina together to create a normal vaginal texture.

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