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Entries in Reproductive Organs (1)

Thursday
Jan122012

Born with Two Vaginas: Not So Rare

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- When British television aired a story about a woman who had been born with double the equipment --  two vaginas, two cervixes and two uteruses -- Internet commenters piped in and said, “Me, too!”

Hazel Jones, a 27-year-old from High Wycombe, has a rare, but not unheard of condition called uterus didelphys, which is not easily diagnosed until a woman’s sex organs develop as she enters puberty.

Jones, who got her diagnosis at 18 after suffering for years from severe menstrual cramps, shared her story this week with ITV’s show This Morning.

Jones has a septum or dividing wall between her two vaginas, which occurred during her own development in the womb, say her doctors. The condition occurs in about one in 3,000 women, according to the World Health Organization. Women can have children, although they are more apt to require a C-section section, as babies are often born breech.

A variety of uterine or mullerian anomalies occur in about 1 in 200 births, according to Vincenzo Berghella, director of maternal fetal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “You do the math: probably more than 100 million women in the world have it.”

“The reproductive tract is made of two tubes next to each other all the way from the vagina to the fallopian tubes,” he said. “They are supposed to fuse at the level of the vagina so they are only one. For whatever reason -- it’s unknown -- the two tubes don’t fuse and you have double. There are more than 10 variations and sometimes you have two uteruses.”

Often it is diagnosed when women have reproductive or infertility problems, but some women may go on to have children and never know they had the condition, said Berghella. Surgery can also repair a vagina with a septum, though scarring or perforation can occur.

Jones first suspected something was wrong when her boyfriend told her that her genitals were “different.” She also found sex uncomfortable and wondered why her girlfriends were baffled when she asked “which hole” to use with tampons.

Others who read the online story this week said they also had the condition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio