Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) Syndrome Treatment and Outlook

Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a congenital condition that affects the reproductive system in females. Among affected women, the uterus and vagina are either underdeveloped or entirely absent.

The first symptom of the condition that is usually noticed is a lack of menstruation by time the child reaches 16 years of age.

The condition can raise various psychological challenges for affected females, who may suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of failed attempts at intercourse and self esteem issues during adolescence.

The overall aim of treatment is to achieve sexual function for affected females.

Young girls or women who are diagnosed with this condition should receive adequate support from their family and doctor. Support should be available in the form of counselling as well as group programmes and support groups.

The idea of creating a functional vagina is introduced to affected females once they have reached sexual and emotional maturity. A number of techniques have been used over the years including surgical and non-surgical techniques.

Non-surgical techniques

These are considered the first-line approach and involve the use of vaginal dilators, which are plastic tubes that have been specifically designed to help create or enlarge the vagina.

The most common method is called Frank’s dilator method, which involves applying the dilator and stretching the vagina on a daily basis to gradually expand it over a period of six weeks to several months.

Surgical methods

Various surgical techniques exist for creating an artificial vagina. These include the McIndoe technique, which involves the application of a skin graft to a space between the rectum and the bladder. Women are still likely to require the vaginal dilators, to enhance the success of the surgery. Another approach is autotransplant, meaning the vagina is created using the patient’s own cells from another part of their body to create a fully functional vagina.

Outcome

Women with MRKH syndrome do have normal, functioning ovaries and can still have children with the help of assisted reproduction. For example, some women are able to have a child using in vitro fertilization of their own eggs and a surrogate mother. Affected females also have normal external genitalia and sexual characteristics. In some cases, other defects may also be present such as underdeveloped kidneys, skeletal abnormalities, impaired hearing and less commonly, heart disorders.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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Comments

  1. miranda lewis miranda lewis Serbia says:

    I was looking for the information like this. Because I really need to find out more as my dearest niece has MRKH..I see how painful it's for her, but can't help. Actually I know too little about the condition. and my sweety was diagnosed a year ago..Feels terrifying..don't know what to do or how to support..Still everyone's so raw from the news..

  2. Rebecca Johnson Rebecca Johnson United States says:

    Thumbs up to you on many levels for being so very open with us. Though with no explanation given MRKH just appears in one's life and continues to be.. My friend has closed her fb account several times because she told she's got so incredibly jealous that these people all around pop out kids left and right and she can't even have that experience just one time!..Poor thing she's been in this for long years. almost 20 years ago when doctors had very little information in the way of what to do. Now they grow vaginal tissue...and do all kinds of reconstruction. There are things like IVF and surrogacy. I believe all this helps to remain more optimistic..

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