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Vertical or Complete Vaginal Septum
A vertical or complete vaginal septum is a condition in which there is a wall of tissue running vertically up and down the length of a girl’s vagina, dividing it into two separate cavities.
The condition is also known as “double vagina” or longitudinal vaginal septum (LVS).
Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
Causes & Risk Factors
A complete 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.
The cause of this abnormal fetal development is not yet known.
Symptoms & Types
Girls with this condition may not have any symptoms. They may not even be aware they have it until puberty, when they start having periods and have difficulty using tampons, or when they become sexually active and have difficulties or discomfort during intercourse.
Symptoms may include:
- Pain when inserting or removing a tampon
- Menstrual blood that leaks out even when using a tampon
- Pain during intercourse
Diagnosis & Tests
Diagnosis starts with a thorough medical history and physical exam, including a pelvic exam.
Additional testing may include imaging such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view the internal reproductive organs.
Treatment & Care
Treatment strategies include:
- Observation only – if the condition isn’t causing any pain or complications with tampon use or sexual activity.
- Surgery – to remove the wall of tissue, creating a single vagina. In some cases, the wall may be torn through sexual activity, eliminating the need for surgery.