This Woman Was Born With Two-Thirds Of Her Vagina Missing
Briana Fletcher, a 23-year-old from Nova Scotia, Canada, was born with two-thirds of her vagina missing—and now she's opening up about her condition to the .
The first sign that something was off: Briana never got her period when she hit puberty.
At first, her doctor attributed her missing period to her low weight—but eventually, a series of MRIs and ultrasounds confirmed she didn't have a uterus and was missing the upper two-thirds of her vaginal canal, the Daily Mail reports. Briana also has scoliosis, and though she has two functional kidneys, they are on the same side of her body.
These discoveries eventually led to a diagnosis of a rare condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH). “My gynecologist at the time had never seen a case before. She did a lot of research just to find it,” Briana said.
WHAT IS MAYER-ROKITANSKY-KUSTER-HAUSER SYNDROME?
A bit of background info: MRKH, which affects only one in every 5,000 women, causes the vagina or uterus to be underdeveloped or absent entirely, according to the . This means that women with MRKH don’t have periods and typically cannot carry a baby.
However, women with MRKH still have functioning ovaries, so things actually don’t look any different from the outside, and they still show signs of puberty.
“My ex liked to use it against me and say I wasn’t a real woman. But I know I’m a woman whether I have a period or not."
In some cases, women with MRKH syndrome also have abnormalities in other parts of the body, namely the kidneys and the bones, particularly the spine. The kidneys may be abnormally formed or positioned, or one kidney may fail to develop, according to the .
As for treatment options, women with MRKH can start with dilation treatment, which uses dilators to stretch the muscles and create a vaginal canal to allow for sexual intercourse. If that doesn’t work, there is also a surgery that can stretch the vaginal canal, the says.
DEALING WITH HER DIAGNOSIS
Briana says she often has to field ignorant comments from people who say she is “lucky” to not have a period. “I am a bit offended, but I try to remember that they are only speaking from their experience, and I’m speaking from mine,” she told the Daily Mail.
She's also dealt with some pretty terrible exes. “My ex... liked to use it against me and say I wasn’t a real woman,” Fletcher said. “But I know I’m a woman whether I have a period or not, so his comments—while rude—weren’t really an issue.”
Now, Briana is engaged to be married, and says that while sex is "challenging" it's not impossible. "I find using lube and taking our time makes intercourse more pleasurable," she says.
Video: Woman born with two thirds of her vagina missing speaks about 'challenging' life
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