What would you do with two vaginas? For adult content creator Evelyn Miller who has uterine didelphys – a condition which results in duplicates of certain reproductive parts – their physiology enabled them to separate their work life from their personal life by reserving separate vaginas for each. It’s a possibility unique to people with the condition, which is estimated to affect around one in 2,000 people assigned female at birth.
While it might sound like a rather radical layout for the female reproductive system, uterine didelphys can go unnoticed by doctors and the people that have it for a surprisingly long time. It might not be until they have an ultrasound, pregnancy, or symptoms regarding their menstrual cycle that the uterine didelphys gets spotted.
What is uterine didelphys?
The condition emerges before a person is born as a developmental quirk during the embryonic stage. During this time, a female embryo's Müllerian ducts give rise to “uterine horns” which eventually fuse to form one uterus. For people with uterine didelphys, this fusion doesn’t occur leaving them with two sets of this section of the female anatomy.
Uterine didelphys can come in many forms. For some people, they have two wombs, cervixes, and vaginas while some may have a single vagina that connects to both cervixes and wombs. Whatever the configuration, the equipment will sit side by side wedged between the bladder and the rectum – the womb’s happy home.
What causes uterine didelphys?
Uterine didelphys is a congenital abnormality meaning it occurs before birth. While its exact cause remains something of a mystery, it's possible genetic factors could be at play which would mean the condition could be passed on.
How does uterine didelphys affect pregnancy?
Being equipped with two uteruses means that it’s possible to carry a pregnancy in each one, something that obstetrician/gynecologist Robert Zurawin at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston says happens to roughly one in 25,000 women with uterine didelphys.
However, it’s also possible that the separate uteruses can carry separate pregnancies. This was the case for a British woman who in 2006 gave birth to three babies. The trio were made up of twins who were conceived in one uterus, while the third child had developed in the other.
The remarkable event was the result of two eggs, one of which was fertilized by sperm and split into identical twins, while the other was simultaneously fertilized by a different sperm cell to produce one embryo in the other womb. The complexities of uterine didelphys can make pregnancies – especially multiple pregnancies – more difficult owing to the two organs sitting so closely together. In this case, the Guardian reports that the three twins' combined birth weight was only just above that of the average newborn.
The female form sure has some tricks up its sleeve.
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