FOR years Nicci Triefenbach suffered agonising stomach cramps and constant pelvic pain.

But it wasn't until she turned 20 that she discovered the cause of her agony.

Nurse discovers constant pelvic pain is due to her having TWO vaginas – and says guys saw sex with her a ‘challenge’

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For years Nicci Triefenbach suffered agonising stomach cramps and constant pelvic painCredit: Barcroft Media
Nurse discovers constant pelvic pain is due to her having TWO vaginas – and says guys saw sex with her a ‘challenge’

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But it wasn't until she was 20 that doctors discovered she had a rare condition that meant she had two vaginas, two wombs and two cervixCredit: Barcroft Media

She was shocked to discover she had two vaginas, two wombs and two cervix.

The rare condition, called uterus didelphys, which affects just one per cent of women, has left Nicci feeling like a "circus freak".

She said: "The hardest thing about the whole process is not feeling like a woman.

"You feel like you're insane, then there is the whole 'why me?' aspect.

"You feel isolated and abnormal – like a freak of nature."

In her teens, Nicci spent days at a time in bed suffering cramps.

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And she developed the iron deficiency anaemia because her ovaries were on two separate menstrual cycles.

It was during an examination by a gynaecologist when she was 20, that her condition was spotted.

Nicci, now 32, said: "There was the opening, a normal labia and then it funnelled up and split into a 'Y' with two different uterine bodies.

"The condition affected my life pretty severely.

"Trying to explain it to partners before sex was embarrassing and I felt like some men only wanted to be with me because I was a novelty – they saw having sex with me as a challenge."

Nurse discovers constant pelvic pain is due to her having TWO vaginas – and says guys saw sex with her a ‘challenge’

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Uterus didelphys affects just one per cent of women, and causes two sets of reproductive organs to developCredit: http://medicaldice.com

But when she met her husband Andy, ten years ago, Nicci found the love and acceptance she was looking for.

Andy said: “Nicci is really strong. I commend her for being as strong as she was getting through all this.

“Granted I don’t have any vaginas but if I did, I don’t know if I could have done the same thing. I can only imagine how hard it was for her.”

You feel like you’re insane, then there is the whole ‘why me?’ aspect. You feel isolated and abnormal – like a freak of nature

Nicci Triefenbachwho suffers uterus didelphys

Nicci, who lives in St Louis, Missouri, was also diagnosed with endometriosis and, alongside the physical pain caused by the condition, she has also suffered a lot of heartache.

She said: “I have had three miscarriages and it wasn’t possible for me to go further than 22 weeks.

“You get very desperate to have children and you just wonder ‘What am I doing wrong? Why am I going through this?'

“There were times when I thought about suicide but again with my support system it pulled me out."

Nurse discovers constant pelvic pain is due to her having TWO vaginas – and says guys saw sex with her a ‘challenge’

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For years, Nicci faced the embarrassment of explaining her condition to partners, but 10 years ago she met husband Andy and found the acceptance she was looking forCredit: Barcroft Media

Four months ago Nicci made the difficult decision to undergo a double hysterectomy.

She said: “Now I have had a hysterectomy and reconstruction, where they removed the vaginal septum.

"I now have a normal vagina with one vaginal opening, no cervix obviously and no uteruses.”

WHAT IS UTERINE DIDELPHYS?

UTERUS didelphys is a rare condition where a woman’s uterus fails to fuse properly during development in the woman.

Also known as double uterus, the condition means women are born with two uteri, two separate cervixes and sometimes two vaginas.

The two wombs are often slightly smaller than the average womb in order to allow them both to fit.

Symptoms:

A double uterus often causes no symptoms.

The condition may be discovered during a regular pelvic exam or during imaging tests to determine the cause of repeated miscarriages.

Women who have a double vagina along with a double uterus may suffer heavy menstrual bleeding that isn’t stopped by a tampon.

In these situations, the woman has placed a tampon in one vagina, but blood is still escaping from the second uterus and vagina.

Women who continue to bleed after a tampon has been used or have extreme menstrual pain should see a doctor.

Causes:

There is no known causes as to why some women develop two wombs, although genetic factors have been considered.

Risks and complications:

Many women have normal sex lives, pregnancies and deliveries.

But sometimes a double uterus can cause:

  • infertility
  • miscarriage
  • premature birth
  • kidney abnormalities

Source: Mayo Clinic

And although the surgery has drastically improved her quality of life, Nicci and her husband Andy were devastated to give up on their hopes of having children.

Nicci said: “I’ve always wanted to be a mum and going ahead with the hysterectomy was a difficult decision to make but since the operation my quality of life has gotten so much better.

“I don’t think I could have even coped with the physical demands of looking after a child before but now I just have so much more energy – I basically have my life back.

“I want to adopt one day – hopefully soon. I was adopted myself and I’d love to give a home to a child who really needs it.”

And with the support of Andy, Nicci has learned to accept the condition and hopes to support other women who are experiencing similar struggles.

Nurse discovers constant pelvic pain is due to her having TWO vaginas – and says guys saw sex with her a ‘challenge’

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Nicci has now had a double hysterectomy but admits it is tough knowing she will never have kidsCredit: Barcroft Media

Nicci said: “For years I was ashamed but now I love my body for what it is capable of – rather than hating it for what it’s not.

“I want to get rid of the stigma surrounding conditions like this and I want other women to love themselves and love their bodies.

“I have decided to go public with this because there is so many women out there that have anomalies and have endometriosis, and don’t feel like they have anybody.

“You’re not alone and you’ve got to be strong.

"If you have two vaginas, two uteruses, two cervixes, you’re just different, you’re not a circus freak.”


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FOR years Nicci Triefenbach suffered agonising stomach cramps and constant pelvic pain.