Jacqui Beck, British Teen, Learns She Was Born Without Vagina, Womb or Cervix

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British teenager Jacqui Beck recalls that she was in "total shock" to learn that she had been born without a vagina during a routine visit to the doctor.

One can only assume that would be shocking.

Beck, 17, hadn't started getting her periods.

After informing her doctor, tests soon showed that she had MRKH syndrome, a genetic condition that meant she had been born without a vagina, womb or cervix.

She tells the Daily Mail (UK) of the ordeal:

"I left the [office] in tears. I would never know what it was like to give birth, be pregnant, have a period. All the things I had imagined doing suddenly got erased from my future."

"I was really angry ... I felt like I wasn’t a real woman any more."

Shocking as it may seem, Beck is not alone here.

In fact, her condition isn't even especially rare.

According to government statistics, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, or MRKH, affects one in 4,500 newborn girls. It's not unheard of at all.

The condition, research has shown, mainly affects the reproductive system and "causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent."

It mostly occurs in people with no family history of the disorder. The external genitalia are normal, and women with MRKH have functioning ovaries and undergo puberty.

The condition is usually detected once someone with MRKH tries to have sex, or doesn't begin having periods by age 16, as was the case with Jacqui Beck.

Similarly, Christina Ruth was diagnosed with MRKH at 17. She spoke out about her condition, and the shame that came with it, in May, after graduating high school.

"I had two doctors ask me why I hadn't fixed myself yet," Ruth said. "That's completely inappropriate. I was born this way and should not be made to feel like I am second-rate."

Although the condition has no cure, medical procedures such as dilation or surgery can help create a vaginal canal, allowing them to have intercourse.

Eggs can be removed and fertilized to be used in surrogacy.

Several support communities for women with MRKH exist. The Beautiful You MRKH Foundation, a non-profit group, seeks to "eliminate the shame and isolation."

Jacqui Beck is also taking ownership of her condition.

"I’m a hopeless romantic and I see it as a great test of someone’s character. Instead of focusing on it putting off men, I actually think it will help me find 'the one',” she said.

"I want to be upfront with any men I meet and tell them straight away about my condition... If they run at the mention of MRKH then I don’t want to be intimate with them."

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