This woman opened up about being born with two vaginas
Women’s health conditions are so often brushed aside or dismissed entirely, despite the fact that they can cause extreme pain and anguish. That’s why we’re so grateful that one woman has opened up about the suffering that comes with her medical condition: uterus didelphys, or having two sets of reproductive organs, including two wombs and two vaginas.
In an interview with the New York Post, 31-year-old Faye Wilkins spoke about uterus didelphys, which had been causing her extreme pain ever since she hit puberty. . . but that’s just where the problems began.
Does uterus didelphys. . . uh, look like what we’re picturing?
Faye didn’t have two vulvas, but she did have two smaller-than-average sets of internal reproductive organs. Like many women who have uterus didelphys, it was discovered after she hit puberty, during a pelvic exam. “At the age of 14, I couldn’t believe it when doctors told me I was born with two vaginas, two cervixes and two wombs,” she explained to the Post. “I was in complete shock as I’d never noticed the condition before as the difference were only internal.”
What are the symptoms?
Although many women with the condition have no symptoms whatsoever, according to the Mayo Clinic, Faye experienced intense pain. . . and no period. “All of my friends had started their periods but I was only suffering from stomach cramps but nothing else,” she explained to the Post. “As the pain got worse, my mom Polly took me to the doctors thinking I had an ovarian cyst because a lump had formed, but no one would scan me.”
Eight months after she went to the doctor for the first time, something terrifying happened: her uterus burst. “I heard a huge pop and knew something inside me had exploded,” Faye explained. “I was in agony, there was so much blood and I rushed to the hospital where doctors examined me and finally diagnoses me with UD. The condition had caused a blockage and my menstrual blood to build up, which had reached 12 centimeters (4¾ inches) in size.”
What is the treatment?
Treatment for uterus didelphys is rarely needed, but Faye was one of the few who went under the knife to make her two vaginas into one. She told the Post she still had two cervixes and two wombs in order to prevent another rupture.
Are there fertility complications for people with uterus didelphys?
Having two sets of reproductive organs doesn’t make it easier to have a baby — in fact, it’s often much harder, due to their smaller size. “I was warned after my diagnosis that it would be difficult to conceive due to reproductive organs being half the size they should be, making implantation harder,” Faye shared in the interview.
Even after conceiving, though, it’s still an incredibly difficult process for prospective mothers with uterus didelphys. Faye endured not one, not two, but six miscarriages in her journey to have her two children: seven-year-old Molly and two-year-old George, who were conceived in the two separate wombs.
“Doctors had warned me it would be difficult to conceive and after the first miscarriage, I didn’t allow myself to get excited,” she said. “Unlike most moms, falling pregnant was actually a difficult time for me.”
What else does Faye want the world to know about her condition?
Faye may have two sets of reproductive organs, but that doesn’t define her, and she wants the world to know that.
“I’ve always been upfront and honest with men I’ve dated, I wanted them to know that I may never fall pregnant and uterus didelphys is just a part of who I am,” Faye said. “Having UD doesn’t make you any less of a woman, your internal organs have just formed slightly differently. . . I’ve gone on to lead a relatively normal life, I only have one kidney, too, which is related to the condition, but again, I haven’t let this hold me back.”
Thank you, Faye, for sharing this very personal story with us!