Congenital Genital Tract Abnormalities
These conditions usually refer to structural deformities of the reproductive tract including the vagina, cerxix, uterus and fallopian tubes. Such conditions are rare and affect only a few percent of the female population. The disorders tend to occur when the child is developing in the mother’s womb and is either diagnosed at birth, during adolescence or when the woman is pregnant or trying to conceive.
What are the different kinds of Congenital Genital Tract Abnormalities?
- External genitals like the clitoris or labia
These structures can occur as swollen or joined together.
There could be an absence of a vagina in some girls. Or there may be a blockage or duplication of the vagina due to a wall dividing it into two.
An imperforate hymen, which failed to perforate during fetal development, completely blocks the vagina and causes menstrual blood to accumulate in the vagina and sometimes the uterus.
There could be an absence or duplication of the cervix
Some females might be born without a uterus. Others may only have half, or two. Uterine septum could also occur when a normal uterus has a wall dividing it in the middle.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- Abnormal or no vaginal opening
- Swollen clitoris
- Joined labia
- Ambiguous genitals
As the female matures:
- Amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation) by 15 years old
- Monthly cramps without menstruation
- Painful menstruation that progressively worsens
- Lump in the lower abdomen
- Repeated miscarriages or premature labour
How are Congenital Genital Tract Abnormalities Treated?
The main treatment for congenital genital tract abnormalities is surgical reconstruction. For example, if there is a blockage at the vagina or uterus, surgery is done to unblock the obstruction. Depending on the type of disorder, surgery may be performed immediately on the affected infant or delayed until the child has matured and started her menses.
With years of experience in gynaecology surgery, our specialist A/Prof Fong has helped many patients in the diagnosis and treatment of various congenital genital tract abnormalities.