For 25 years, Brittany Jacobs had no idea she had two vaginas — until she went into labor.
“Oh honey, you have two vaginas, two cervixes and two uteruses,” a nurse finally told her while Jacobs was in the process of giving birth to her first child, the now-26-year-old recounted in a viral TikTok video which has racked up over 2.7 million views.
While Jacobs didn’t realize she had double anatomy, she had noticed that something was off in her nether regions, where she’d first observed as a young girl that she had two openings. “I always believed it was my hymen, and as I got older, I thought it was just really tough and maybe would break one day,” she told BuzzFeed.
She also had another sign that her body was unique. Despite considering herself to have a “really high pain tolerance,” she always had excruciating periods which were “so bad I would cry,” she said in the video. Jacobs posted the revelation in response to another TikTok user’s prompt clip asking, “What is something a doctor completely ignored you about when clearly there was something wrong?”
She’d bleed through tampons in mere minutes, sex hurt terribly and her menstrual cramps were debilitating — but her doctors never told her she was in any way different, so she accepted the discomfort as a part of life.
Really, though, her problems were likely all symptoms of having what is called uterus didelphys, or double uterus, which is not such a rare occurrence.
“Basically, all gynecologists who get to be old see some patients with it in their lifetime,” Yale University School of Medicine clinical professor Dr. Mary Jane Minkin told BuzzFeed. “My take-home message is you’re not a freak, you’re not weird, and by definition: If I’ve seen something a few times, it’s not rare.”
The condition can occasionally complicate reproductive ability and cause kidney problems, Dr. Minkin added. In Jacobs’ case, her labor doctors cut the septum dividing her two vaginas — “meaning now I only have one hole” — so she could give birth.
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