Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Closure of the Vagina (Vaginal Obliteration)

    Closure of the vagina is surgery done for an older woman whose uterus has moved from its natural position to press uncomfortably into the vagina (uterine prolapse camera.gif). This procedure may also be done if an older woman's vagina severely sags or drops into the vaginal canal (vaginal vault prolapse camera.gif). In this surgery, the vagina is sewn shut. So it is only done if the woman no longer desires sexual intercourse.

    Vaginal obliteration is done by removing the entire vaginal lining except for 1 in. (2.54 cm) to 1.5 in. (3.81 cm). The vagina is then sewn shut. If the uterus is still present, a small opening is left in the vagina to allow fluids to drain from the uterus.

    Because vaginal obliteration is a relatively brief surgical procedure, it may be done when a woman has one or more severe long-term (chronic) medical conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, that make a longer procedure more of a risk.

    Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Should I Have Surgery?

    What To Expect After Surgery

    General, regional, or local anesthesia may be used for vaginal obliteration. You may stay in the hospital from 1 to 2 days. You will probably be able to return to your normal activities in about 4 weeks, but this can vary widely. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 2 weeks, and increase your activity level gradually.

    Why It Is Done

    Vaginal obliteration is done to correct severe uterine or vaginal vault prolapse in an older woman who no longer desires sexual intercourse or whose other chronic health problems make a longer surgical procedure more dangerous.

    How Well It Works

    Vaginal obliteration is an effective treatment for vaginal vault or uterine prolapse. Sometimes a surgical procedure for urinary incontinence is done at the same time.

    Risks

    Complications of vaginal obliteration are uncommon.

    What To Think About

    The main point of vaginal obliteration is speed and simplicity. This procedure is usually best for women who have chronic health conditions, because a more extensive or complicated surgery could be dangerous.

    Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Current as ofMarch 12, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz