Between periods, ingrown hairs and smear tests, having a vagina can be hard work. Imagine then, what it's like to have two vaginas. Yep, two vaginas!
Taking to TikTok–where she's since gone viral–one woman revealed how she found out she'd been unknowingly living with two vaginas; a discovery that only came about when she was 21 weeks pregnant.
"I have two vaginas. And I didn't find out until I was 21 weeks pregnant," said Scarlett, who goes by the username @neurodivergentdiaries1 on TikTok. Explaining the backstory, Scarlett said that up until her teenage years, she'd "never" noticed a difference, nor did her parents or doctors when she was born.
"I didn't notice anything different until I was about 15 and started experimenting with other people," she recalled. "I never had an interest in tampons until I was about 16. But I just found I was having a lot of pain during any sort of attempts for anything to go up there. And then I tried using tampons, I just couldn't do it. They just wouldn't work."
A similar issue occurred when she tried to have sex for the first time but had to stop because she was in so much pain. Describing what happened when she started having sex again, Scarlett said that "it was really, really painful" and that her now-husband noticed something was "wrong".
"I went to multiple GPs, multiple different doctors over two years, tried so many different treatments. I had pap smears done, and everything looked normal and I was just really anxious and stressed," she said of her attempts to find out what the issue was. "Fast forward to when I got pregnant, I had my pelvic exams and I had ultrasounds and they were all excruciatingly painful. I would even bleed sometimes afterwards."
@neurodivergentdiaries1 Well l never thought I’d put this on the internet ???? but if it helps someone going through something similar then it’s worth it ???? #storytime #crazystory #crazystorytime #medicalstory #medicalmystery #connectivetissuedisorder #part1 #partone ? original sound - Scarlett
By chance, Scarlett had to undergo surgery on her cervix at 21 weeks pregnant for a different issue, and it was during this surgery that doctors found a septum in her vagina, which meant she had two vaginas. "I had a piece of flesh, like a thick piece of flesh, that went all the way from the back of my vagina all the way down to almost the entrance," Scarlett said, pointing out that the septum stopped about an inch into her vagina, which is why it had gone unnoticed in the past. "You couldn't see it and anytime I would get a pelvic exam, an internal ultrasound, or a pap smear with a speculum, it would just push to the side which would explain why it was so damn painful and why I would have bleeding because it would tear."
Thankfully, doctors were able to remove the septum during her surgery, which Scarlett says saved her life. "[If I had tried to give birth vaginally], I would have bled to death," she recalls the doctor telling her. "Because it's a large piece of flesh, essentially, me trying to deliver the baby out of one of the vaginas would have torn the septum and ripped it away from my insides."
Since having the septum removed – which Scarlett emphasizes is a "very, very rare" condition–the TikToker says she's had no issues. "Now it all functions okay and I don't have any pain at all during intercourse anymore," she said. "I just wanted to share it because I thought maybe it might help somebody out there who's struggling with pain and their doctor can't find the issue."
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.