Transverse Vaginal Septum

A transverse vaginal septum is a condition in which there is a wall of tissue running horizontally across the vagina.

This wall (known as a septum) creates a blockage in the vagina. In most cases, there is a small hole in the wall of tissue that allows menstrual blood to flow out of the body.

Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

Causes & Risk Factors

A transverse vaginal septum is a congenital disorder, meaning it is present at birth. It occurs when the two parts that normally fuse together to create the vagina don’t join together properly during development of the fetus.

The cause of this abnormal development is not yet known.

Symptoms & Types

Symptoms may include:

  • No monthly periods (amenorrhea)
  • Periods that last beyond the normal 4 to 7 day cycle
  • Abdominal pain, caused by blood collecting in the upper vagina, the part above the wall

Diagnosis & Tests

In most cases, a transverse vaginal septum isn't diagnosed until a girl reaches puberty and experiences problems with her period.

Diagnosis starts with a thorough medical history and physical exam and sometimes may include a pelvic exam.

Additional testing may include imaging such as ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to create pictures of the internal reproductive organs.

Treatment & Care

Treatment involves surgery to remove the wall of tissue that is blocking the vagina, improving menstrual flow and reducing complications with fertility and pregnancy.