What is vaginectomy?
Surgery to permanently remove the vaginal canal and close the opening.
What does vaginectomy do?
- Lower body
Who can have vaginectomy?
You must have had 12 continuous months living as your gender identity
You must have had 12 continuous months of HRT, unless you’re unable to
You must have capacity to consent for this treatment
If you have significant medical conditions, these need to be “reasonably well-controlled”
Under 18s cannot have this but can be referred at 17
You typically need a BMI of less than 30
How long does vaginectomy last?
The effects are permanent and cannot be reversed.
What else might I want?
Vaginectomy does not remove the uterus (womb) or ovaries, which are removed by salpingo-oophorectomy and hysterectomy.
How do I get vaginectomy?
NGICNS maintains a list of NHS surgery providers providing various gender-related surgeries. At the moment, all of these surgeons are based in England, so you will have to travel if you live in another part of the UK. If you have decided to pay for your own surgery, rather than using NHS funding, there are additional options available to you. For more information about these private surgery options read our private surgery page.
What kinds are there?
There are two types of vaginectomy:
- total vaginectomy: this operation involves complete removal of all the tissue of the vagina and is considered risky. This operation is normally only used to remove cancer.
- mucosal vaginectomy: this operation involves removing some of the lining of the vagina and then closing the entrance up. The inside of the vagina then collapses in on itself. This is significantly safer, though there may be some significant loss of sexual sensation after this operation 1, p.243. You must have a hysterectomy in order for vaginectomy to be possible. It is possible to close the external outer opening of the vulva as part of this operation 2, p.292.
How do I get ready for surgery?
Doing some preparation in advance can help make sure everything goes smoothly during your hospital stay and recovery. To help you avoid forgetting to do or buy something we have created a Getting ready for gender surgeries page.
- 1.Ralph, David and Christopher, Nim (2007) “Phalloplasty,” in Barrett, J. (ed.), Transsexual and other disorders of gender identity: A practical guide to management, Radcliffe Publishing, pp. 229–247. Link
- 2.Christopher, Nim, Ralph, David and Garaffa, Giulio (2017) “Genital Reconstructive Surgery for Transgender Men,” in Bouman, W. P. and Arcelus, J. (eds.), The Transgender Handbook: A Guide for Transgender People, Their Families and Professionals, Nova Science Publishers Inc, pp. 277–300. Link
This page is illustrated using a photograph by Павел Сорокин available at Pexels.
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