The Heartbreaking Truth of What It’s Like to Live With 2 Vaginas
Nicci was 17 when she found out she had a double reproductive system.
When she was 17 years old, Nicci was suffering from intolerable pain and immense bleeding during her period. After a visit to her doctor, she found out the cause of her debilitating periods — just inside of her body, her vaginal canal split off into separate openings. She had a typical vaginal opening and typical labia, but her reproductive system was made up of two vaginal canals, two cervixes, and two uterine bodies.
In a short documentary for BBC3, Nicci, who withheld her last name, gives a glimpse into what it’s like for her to live with two vaginas. “Honestly when a doctor tells you that, you think,What the hell, what do I do with this,” Nicci says.
Nicci explains in the video that having two vaginas meant a lot of pain and periods that left her unable to leave home. Her periods typically lasted anywhere from seven to 28 days, and she once bled for six months straight. Neither medical intervention nor hormone treatments helped to curtail her symptoms.
Painful periods weren’t Nicci’s only problem. “I’ve had three miscarriages,” she says. Other women with two vaginas have smaller uterine bodies than normal because they’re sharing a space normally meant for only one womb. “You just wonder, What am I doing wrong,” Nicci says. “Why am I going through this?”
After a lifetime of problems caused by her duplicate reproductive system, Nicci decided to have a complete double hysterectomy. Her husband, Andy, offered his full support to anything that would make her feel better. “I can’t even honestly begin to imagine what she’s been through because I’m not a woman,” he says. “But I could get a glimpse of it, because I could see the after effects of it.”
Ever since her surgery, Nicci says she’s been living completely pain-free. She no longer suffers from prolonged periods or debilitating cramps. Part of her recovery process is coping with the idea of not being able to conceive her own children and relearning how to have sex with her husband. “He has moments where he’s, like, scared to touch me,” she says. “Four months isn’t long after surgery and we’re still trying to figure out my new vagina.”
Nicci and Andy say they hope to adopt one day. In the meantime, Nicci hopes women who have two vaginas or other “anomalies” to know they’re not alone.
“There are so many women who have anomalies and don’t feel like they have anybody,” she says. “You’re not alone, you just gotta be strong.”
See the video