A young woman who has a double uterus is raising awareness for the rare condition in the hope of helping other teenagers.
The now 26-year-old was told during a check-up when she was 14, that she had a very rare condition called uterus didelphys – which means she has a double uterus.
“I knew a sexual health check up would include a slightly uncomfortable examination, but I was in such a lot of pain, it hurt so badly I had to ask the doctor to stop,” Andreea said.
The gynaecologist then discovered that he could not insert the speculum because Andreea has cartilage dividing the entrance to her vagina, effectively splitting it into two.
“He was quite shocked. He said it was very rare but not something to worry about at my age.”
A scan shortly after found that Andreea has two uteruses. Both uterus function, but Andreea has since been told that one has lower chances of reproduction.
Usually a woman has a symmetrical reproductive system, with one uterus linking two ovaries and two fallopian tubes.
Andreea has a dividing wall of tissue around 2cm inside her vagina that’s not visible externally.
After her appointment, Andreea admits she didn’t really discuss it again and didn’t tell her friends.
Any future complications or risks to her fertility were not talked about at her young age but when she fell pregnant at 17, sadly at three months her baby stopped growing, which she later found out is a danger linked to the condition.
Now in a six year relationship with her partner, the couple hope to have a family one day and Andreea has decided to find out more about her condition and if she will be able to have a family naturally.
“I still have so many questions surrounding my diagnosis. In theory I have two wombs so I could fall pregnant, whilst pregnant and carry two babies at the same time but I want to know if I can carry one baby safely,” she said.
“I was quite blind to it for most of my teenage years and early twenties, it’s not uncomfortable, so I didn’t think about it too much until I met my partner and naturally we have discussed our future.
Her condition doesn’t cause her pain day to day, however she does face a double whammy of monthly period pains.
“I do suffer very bad period cramps, I can be doubled over and unable to move some months. I guess that comes with having an extra uterus,” she said.
Today Andreea is confident in her body and said her condition makes no difference to her sex life.
“Now, I’m not self-conscious about it at all,” she said.
"As I’ve got older I‘ve always been honest with people and I haven’t been judged for it.
“My worries were as a teenager when I didn’t know if it made me different or who to talk to. Now I don’t find it weird, it’s just who I am and we are all different in one way or another.”
Andreea hopes by openly talking about her condition, it will help other young girls and women talk about their health and bodies.
“Girls should know their bodies, be comfortable in their own skin and learn to know what is ‘normal’ for them,” she said.
“When I was a teenager, you didn’t talk about what was going on with your body, especially nothing that you were self-conscious of or something that you were worried about. You didn’t want to be seen as different to other people.”
Andrea added: “It’s different now and people can be more open and there is a lot more research and information available. It is good to talk and have all the facts.”
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