Aunt Vadge: A little cucumber-shaped piece of tissue two inches inside my vagina

Aunt Vadge I’m worried.

I have a growth inside my vagina about two inches in; it’s attached to one of the walls and shaped like a skinny cucumber. I have no idea what it is and discovered it a while ago while masturbating.

I don’t have the money to go to a doctor, so I want to know if this is something serious or just another part of me.

Please help!!

Sincerely,
Very Worried
Age: 16
Country/Area: USA

Dear Very Worried,

Your vaginal attachment could be one of a few things, but I think you can rest easy – I think it’s another part of you, but not a part that everyone has necessarily. One of the most important things is to establish that it doesn’t hurt, bleed, weep or cause unusual discharge. If everything seems really normal apart from that, I think you’ve discovered an extra little cucumbery piece of your anatomy.

Your little cucumber could be part of your anatomical pieces that are put together when you are in the womb – when your body turns into a girl’s body, there are a set of structures, these special ducts, that actually turn into our uterus, vagina and cervix, called the Mullerian ducts. These can incompletely fuse, leaving behind some tissue. There is almost never any other issue with your reproduction, so you can rest assured that if you do have part of this tissue left, that’s about all that’s there. No hidden disaster. Just an extra little baby cucumber.

When these mullerian ducts are put together (fused), sometimes the ducts don’t properly disappear, which can leave you with pieces of flesh known as septums. What you describe could be part of something that could now be known as a vaginal septum, due to the location of it. Two inches in is your vagina quite far, and is definitely not your hymen or the hymenal ring. It’s deeper than that.

So if you imagine you have two straws. The straws are the mullerian ducts. These straws must come together, and the middle section of both straws has to be reshaped and reformed so that the straws make just one big straw – your vaginal canal, which needs to be completely empty and clear of the middle parts of the straws for it to work properly.

There is a very good chance that your piece of flesh will disappear as you age and your vagina develops more. Unnecessary bits can just sort of ‘go back in’ or otherwise go away without intervention. There is also the possibility that your little extra bit will stay with you for life, unless you get it surgically removed. Any surgical removal of this little part will be probably very quick and you will never think of it again. It must be a bit disconcerting to be able to feel it inside! But don’t worry, it’s very likely not anything to worry about – just a little weird thing that didn’t work quite as well as it should have, but has no negative impact on your life at all.

The fact that it’s a tiny little cucumber-shaped thing means it is unlikely to be a nefarious growth (like a tumour), since other growths don’t tend to take that shape.

I would recommend that you do a search for a free sexual health clinic in your area, and pop in and tell them what you have found and ask them for a quick check. This will ease your mind, but also rule out anything bad that could – but would be very rare at your age – be growing on the side of your vaginal wall.

If you aren’t sure what to say to them, you could try, “I think I have maybe part of a transverse vaginal septum inside my vagina, about two inches in, though I’m not sure and I want to rule out anything more serious, but I can’t afford an appointment – is there any way for you to please check or tell me where I can get checked for free?”.

It’s better to be sure than to feel worried. Look into the septums – you will find that they generally cause the ‘double vagina’ (vertical septum) or can cause a blockage of the vagina when it’s horizontal (transverse), which you obviously do not have. But the tissue is in about the right place for a tiny little blip in the way you were made, for that little piece to be left over. If you want, search for transverse vaginal septum in an image search for a diagram, and see if the areas match. (I’ve emailed you an image that we cannot reproduce online, as it would be copyright infringement).

But just to be clear, I can’t be sure because I can’t examine you, which means if you are still worried then please seek out a free sexual health clinic and ask a nurse or doctor to examine you – you need to start learning to take charge of your sexual health and wellbeing, and part of that journey is learning to get regular checks. Soon enough you will need a Pap smear anyway, and your vagina will be looked into every year or every few years for various reasons. Sexual health doctors will know what’s going on in a second – they look at vaginas all day long.

Let me know if you need anything else, and write anytime!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.