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What is Rokitansky Syndrome?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen

Rokitansky syndrome, which is more commonly known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, is a birth defect where women may be born with unformed or partially formed reproductive organs. The uterus, vagina, and cervix are generally the areas where problems occur, with the uterus being more common. Women with Rokitansky syndrome have normal female chromosomes, and they usually have fully functional ovaries. It’s also often impossible to tell that there is anything wrong by looking at them externally, so it’s common for the disorder to go undiagnosed until sufferers fail to have menstruation as teenagers.

This syndrome is thought to occur in approximately one out of every 5,000 women, although this number is relatively uncertain, and doctors aren’t sure about the reliability of the available statistics. There are many varying degrees of the Rokitansky syndrome. For example, women may be born with no uterus, or they may only have a smaller-than-normal uterus. Cases where a woman is missing the uterus, cervix, and vagina are considered to be rarer, while it is generally more common for one or two organs to be affected.

Women with Rokitansky syndrome have normal female chromosomes, so it may be hard to diagnose.
Women with Rokitansky syndrome have normal female chromosomes, so it may be hard to diagnose.

In most cases, Rokitansky syndrome isn’t generally dangerous, and treatment isn't always required. There are a few cases where the disorder can be accompanied by malformed kidneys and sometimes heart problems, and those issues may require additional procedures or lifestyle changes. Another case where women may want treatment is if they are born without a full vagina or no vagina at all. There are several procedures available to medically create a vagina, and some women choose to take advantage of these.

Rokitansky syndrome is a congenital condition where females are born with partially-formed reproductive organs.
Rokitansky syndrome is a congenital condition where females are born with partially-formed reproductive organs.

The cause of Rokitansky syndrome is somewhat mysterious. All that doctors are sure of is that something happens in a woman's body early in her pregnancy that stops the female organs from forming fully. The original theory was that it was probably caused by some kind of chemical exposure during pregnancy, but research on this has generally been inconclusive.

Some women born with Rokitansky syndrome may have no uterus.
Some women born with Rokitansky syndrome may have no uterus.

Many experts feel that there may be a genetic component, but it is also thought to be partially environmental. In most cases, there is no family history of Rokitansky syndrome, but a few families have been identified where the disorder is common. Doctors think a purely genetic cause is more likely in those cases, but the actual gene responsible hasn’t been identified. It is potentially possible that the genetic disorder is with the mother’s reproductive system, which may cause her to have a greater chance of difficulties with fetal development during pregnancy.

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Discussion Comments

anon317552

Is it possible to become pregnant without a uterus?

anon149811

my daughter was rushed to the hospital with severe pain in abdomen and was constipated for days. she

was poked and pricked with numerous tests from one hospital. the last final test was a ct scan which

showed that it was more serious. she is twelve years old. we were rushed to children's hospital, and they determined that her uterus was not connected to her vagina at birth, even though I had no problems with pregnancy. for five months she had her period and it was light because the rest of her blood was sitting in her uterus because it had nowhere to go, therefore causing pressure on her bladder and rectum, making her unable to pee and poo. she was rushed into surgery and now has to insert an object into her uterus for six months to keep her opening that was surgically removed open. what a scare for a parent.

be aware for your girls. we never knew and everyone should be educated.

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    • Women with Rokitansky syndrome have normal female chromosomes, so it may be hard to diagnose.
      By: Giovanni Cancemi
      Women with Rokitansky syndrome have normal female chromosomes, so it may be hard to diagnose.
    • Rokitansky syndrome is a congenital condition where females are born with partially-formed reproductive organs.
      By: Patricia Marks
      Rokitansky syndrome is a congenital condition where females are born with partially-formed reproductive organs.
    • Some women born with Rokitansky syndrome may have no uterus.
      By: ProMotion
      Some women born with Rokitansky syndrome may have no uterus.
    • Rokitansky syndrome usually impacts a woman's uterus by causing malformation of the organ.
      By: blueringmedia
      Rokitansky syndrome usually impacts a woman's uterus by causing malformation of the organ.