Treatment of congenital malformations

Semin Reprod Med. 2011 Mar;29(2):101-12. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1272472. Epub 2011 Mar 24.


The prevalence of müllerian malformations is 1 in 200, or 0.5%. A third of the anomalies are septate, a third bicornuate uteri, 10% arcuate uterus, 10% didelphis and unicornuate uterus, and < 5% uterine and vaginal aplasia. Correct diagnosis of the malformation is most important but often very difficult. Correct treatment can only be performed if the malformation is clear. Longitudinal vaginal septums have to be removed due to potential obstetric problems. Transverse vaginal septums can cause hematocolpos and pain and have to be incised crosswise and excised so as not to shorten the vagina at the same time. Congenital vaginal agenesis occurs in Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome patients and in androgen insensitivity syndrome. The first choice for surgical treatment should be the new laparoscopic-assisted creation of a neovagina. Septate uterus has to be distinguished from a bicornuate uterus. Even if it is not proven to be a cause for infertility, the chance of miscarriage can be diminished by performing hysteroscopic metroplasty. Repair of a uterine septum in infertility patients often improves pregnancy rates. In contrast, surgical repair of a bicornuate uterus requires an abdominal metroplasty. This should only be performed if the patient has recurrent fetal loss due to the uterine structural defect. In a unicornuate uterus it is most important to determine if there is a second uterine horn that can cause cyclic pain if it has functioning endometrium. The only surgical option in these cases is to remove the rudimentary uterus with endometrium and hematometra, respectively.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amenorrhea / etiology
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Hematocolpos / etiology
  • Hematometra / etiology
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mullerian Ducts / abnormalities
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Uterine Diseases / therapy
  • Uterus / abnormalities*
  • Uterus / surgery
  • Vagina / abnormalities
  • Vagina / surgery