In a new documentary for BBC3, a woman named Nicci is speaking out about a condition that caused her to have two vaginas, two wombs, and two cervixes, in hopes to help others with "anomalies" feel less alone in their struggles.
Nicci first found out that she had two vaginas when she was 17 years old.
“I first knew something was wrong when I was a teenager and I was bleeding more than I should," she says in a preview for the documentary. "The pain was intolerable and, while on my period, I couldn't function. My doctor told me I had two wombs, two vaginas and two cervixes.”
The condition, known as uterus didelphys or "double uterus," is a rare abnormality in which the uterine tubes don't join completely as they should. Instead, each tube develops into its own structure, forming two uteruses, which sometimes have one cervix (opening) into one vagina, or in Nicci's case, forms a thin wall of tissue that runs down the length of the vagina and divides it into two openings. Uterus didelphys is an extremely rare condition — according to the World Health Organization, it happens to one in 3,000 women.
It also caused Nicci to have exceptionally abnormal periods.
"There were times when I had to wear adult nappies because tampons and pads weren't enough," she says.
Though those with a double uterus often have successful pregnancies, the condition does increase risk for miscarriage or premature birth. Nicci, unfortunately, suffered three miscarriages from the condition. While she opted to get a double hysterectomy in an attempt to better manage her life, meaning that she'll never be able to conceive, she and her husband hope to adopt children one day.
"The condition has affected my life severely," she says, recalling times when men who she had sex with would brag about sleeping with "a girl with two vaginas."
However, she's opening up about it in hopes that anyone else who has double uterus will know that they aren't alone in the world.
“There are so many women out there who have anomalies and don’t feel like they have somebody," she says. “You’re not alone, you’ve just got to be strong.”
The documentary on Nicci, The Woman With Two Vaginas: Living Differently, is set to air this month on BBC3.