Two vaginas, two uteruses, two cervixes.
This is the reality of 37-year-old Leanne Bell of the US.
Leanne found out she had a pair of each of these organs when she was 26 years old, and now she's telling the world about her rare condition.
Born with uterus didelphys – a condition that occurs when two uteruses grow during a baby girl’s development in her mother’s womb – Leanne has had to navigate the intricacies that come with it.
She knew something was a little different about her in her teens, when she had difficulty inserting tampons.
It was when she visited her gynaecologist to have a contraceptive device inserted in her uterus that she discovered how different she is from other women.
“I went in to get an IUD [intrauterine device] placed and they said they couldn’t place it,” Leanne says in a series of TikTok videos.
“The gynaecologist looked around and said, ‘I think you have two vaginas’,” she adds.
The doctor did an ultrasound scan and it was confirmed that Leanne did in fact have two vaginas.
As expected, her followers had many questions.
And in the spirit of education, Leanne drew two diagrams which show the difference between her reproductive organs and normal ones.
Her vagina is basically split into two by a wall of tissue that goes all the way up to her cervix, dividing that as well.
Then, each cervix is attached to a uterus.
Externally, everything looks normal.
Having double reproductive organs means she experiences twice the pain that comes with menstruation.
“They’re usually at the same time, but sometimes not. I also have to go get two Pap smears, which sucks. It’s not comfortable. I wear two tampons, yes. Like I said, whatever one woman does, I do it twice,” she says.
“The first few days, I am just bedridden and in pain. I dread that time of the month so much. I know a lot of women do. It’s just those few days at the beginning I spend in bed. It just feels like I am wasting my life,” she adds.
Leanne could also fall pregnant with two babies at the same time, each nestled in its own uterus and conceived on different days within a week of each other.
While other women with uterus didelphys can have healthy pregnancies, hers would be high-risk.
She became pregnant a few years ago but it was an ectopic pregnancy, which means the egg had implanted itself outside of her uterus and in her fallopian tube (the tube that transports an egg from the ovary to the uterus).
“Out of all those uteruses to choose from, that baby decided to grow in my Fallopian tube . . . They had emergency surgery, and they took out my fallopian tube and my baby, and that was the end of that.”
Her condition doesn’t make her love life easy either.
After being in a long-term relationship from the age of 18 until she found out about her condition – she doesn’t state the reason for the split – she’s finding dating a tricky because of the pressure to disclose the details of her anatomy.
This is even more the case now that she’s shared her story openly on Instagram. She doesn’t want her love interests – most of whom she meets online – to find out on social media before she gets the chance to tell them.
Some men, she says, have disappeared after learning of her uniqueness.
“My new plan has been I’m going to tell these men right away – not right away, but before we meet – so nobody’s time is wasted,” she says.
“And, yeah, I still manage to really freak some men out. Again, I realise this is not for everyone.”
SOURCES: TIKTOK.COM, WEBMD.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK