A woman born with two vaginal openings has disclosed how, as a teenager, she thought all women used two tampons at the same time. She only found out they did not, after mustering the courage to ask her mom about it.
Some eight years ago, Tee Bartlett had no idea she had a rare condition which meant she had two vaginal openings instead of one.
Like most teenagers, she was not comfortable asking her mum about it until one day when she decided to bring it up.
One day, I was having a conversation with my best friend and mum, and I finally asked which hole a tampon was supposed to go in, the left or the right...At first, she said that there weren't two holes and we argued for a little bit, and I was being really defensive. She then suggested that we go to the doctors. That's when I realized, she was being serious and that there really is not supposed to be two openings down there
It took three visits to the doctors before she was referred to a gynaecologist, who confirmed the vaginal anomaly. According to Bartlett, now 24, they disregarded everything she was saying and made her feel like she was making things up.
The two doctors disregarded everything that I was saying and made me feel crazy. The second doctor looked at it, then looked back at me and said, “nah it’s normal” and she sort of pushed us out the door. I was starting to feel like I was going crazy. I was second guessing myself.
The woman from New South Wales, Australia, was warned that her double vagina would likely make sexual intercourse and giving birth difficult and potentially dangerous. She thus underwent surgery at the age of 17 to remove the septum.
The condition is normal for babies in the womb, but most people have theirs (septum) dissolving after birth. But Tee’s did not because it was thicker and longer than most, necessitating surgery.
After sharing her story on social media, Tee had many women and girls reaching out to her with similar experiences.
I honestly thought for a while there that maybe I was an idiot for not realizing you weren’t supposed to have two openings down there. But after posting a video about it, I’ve realized that no one really knows that we weren’t supposed to have two. It is something I’m not worried about any more. That was me, now it’s over and I’m good now.’