Transverse vaginal septae: management and long-term outcomes

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To examine the management and long-term outcomes of transverse vaginal septae.

Design

Observational study with cross-sectional and retrospective arms.

Setting

Tertiary referral centre specialising in Müllerian anomalies.

Population

Forty-six girls and women with a transverse vaginal septum.

Methods

Data from medical records of all cases (1998–2013) of transverse vaginal septae were collected and reviewed. Patients over 16 years of age also completed a questionnaire.

Main outcome measures

Presentation, examination findings, investigations, surgery, and long-term reproductive outcomes.

Results

The septae in the study were described as follows: 61% (95% CI 0.46–0.74) were imperforate, and presented with obstructed menstruation; 39% (95% CI 0.26–0.54) were perforate, and presented with a variety of concerns; 72% (95% CI 0.57–0.83) were low, 22% (95% CI 0.12–0.36) were mid-vaginal, and 6% (95% CI 0.02–0.18) were high; 33% were managed via an abdominoperineal approach, 59% were managed via a vaginal approach, and 6% had laparoscopic resection (one patient did not have surgery); 11% (95% CI 0.05–0.23) of patients presented with reobstruction, all following abdominoperineal vaginoplasty; 7% presented with vaginal stenosis, two following vaginal resection and one following the abdominoperineal approach; 61% of questionnaires were returned. These results showed that 22/23 patients were menstruating and one had a hysterectomy, 74% had been sexually active, 35% had dyspareunia, and 36% complained of dysmenorrhoea. There were seven pregnancies, with one termination and six live births, all following the vaginal excision of a transverse vaginal septum.

Conclusions

Transverse vaginal septae resected vaginally or laparoscopically have low complication rates and good long-term outcomes. Complex septae require more extensive surgery, with an increased risk of complications.

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