A vaginal septum occurs during the embryonic stage when the two tubes that fuse to create the vagina only partially fuse or meet along the midline. The result is a vertical or complete vaginal septum, in which a wall of tissue runs vertically up the vagina, essentially creating two vaginas. A transverse septum develops when a horizontal wall of tissue forms during embryologic development, essentially creating a blockage of the vagina.
These conditions are commonly discovered at puberty, when a girl begins using a tampon, or at the start of sexual activity. Complete vaginal septums can be repaired, but expert surgical care is needed to retain normal sexual functioning. Transverse vaginal septums also typically require surgery in order to restore normal shape and function to the vagina.
North Shore-LIJ pediatric gynecologists are experienced in the diagnosis and surgical repair of vaginal septums. For more information on vaginal septums or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York at 516-390-9258. For an emergency call 911 or go to the Cohen Children's Medical Center Emergency Room.