Young woman, 24, born with TWO vaginas thought it was ‘normal’ to use two tampons every month for years – and reveals how she finally found out something was wrong
- Tee Bartlett, from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, was born with two vaginas
- She thought it was ‘normal’ to use two tampons every month before diagnosis
- Tee told her mum about having two ‘holes’, prompting an urgent doctor’s visit
- At the age of 16, Tee was finally diagnosed with a vaginal septum
A young woman who was born with two vaginas revealed how she thought it was ‘normal’ to use two tampons every month before her diagnosis.
As a teenager, Tee Bartlett, from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, said she had absolutely no idea that it was unusual to use two tampons at the same time, as she assumed all women had two vaginal openings.
But she only discovered something wasn’t right after she asked her mother ‘which hole’ a tampon needed to be inserted, which prompted an urgent doctor’s visit.
At the age of 16, Tee was finally diagnosed with a vaginal septum – a condition that happens when the female reproductive system doesn’t fully develop, leaving a dividing wall of tissue in the vagina.
Tee Bartlett (pictured) who was born with two vaginas revealed how she thought it was ‘normal’ to use two tampons every month before her diagnosis
Her boyfriend Chris has always been supportive – and he was ‘fine’ when she told him about her rare condition (couple pictured together)
What is vaginal septum?
A vaginal septum is a condition that happens when the doesn’t fully develop.
It leaves a dividing wall of tissue in the that’s not visible externally.
The wall of tissue can run vertically or horizontally, dividing the vagina into two sections. Many girls don’t realise they have a vaginal septum until they reach puberty, when pain, discomfort, or an unusual menstrual flow sometimes signal the condition.
Others don’t find out until they become sexually active and experience pain during intercourse. However, some women with a vaginal septum never have any symptoms.
Before her diagnosis, the now 24-year-old said she remembered the look on her mum’s face when she plucked up the courage to ask her about how to use a tampon.
‘I didn’t really communicate with mum about awkward topics back then,’ Tee said.
‘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.
‘Mum looked at me like “what?”. At first, she said that there wasn’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 realised, she was being serious and that there really is not supposed to be two openings down there.’
When they met with doctors, Tee said they made her ‘feel crazy’ as they ‘disregarded’ everything she was telling them.
‘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,’ she said.
‘I left there somewhat flabbergasted. I was nuts thinking that I had two vaginas. I was starting to feel like I was going crazy. I was second guessing myself.’
Not wanting to give up on finding answers, Tee decided to get a third opinion from a different doctor that referred her to a gynaecologist, who confirmed she did have two vaginal openings.
However, she warned that her double vagina would likely make sexual intercourse and giving birth difficult and potentially dangerous – so Tee underwent surgery to remove the septum at 17.
‘My wall was too thick to be snipped out and was as long as a finger going right up to just before my cervix. Apparently, the vaginal septum is normal for babies in the womb, but it’s supposed to dissolve,’ she said.
‘Mine just never dissolved. Mine was a bit thicker and longer than normal, which is why I had to get surgery.’
Tee – who’s a high ropes instructor – said she found out that ‘you could get someone stuck inside you during sexual intercourse, as the hole is half the size as normal’.
She warned that her double vagina would likely make sexual intercourse and giving birth difficult and potentially dangerous – so Tee underwent surgery to remove the septum at 17
Since sharing her experiences on social media to raise awareness, Tee said many women have come forward revealing they are going through a similar condition
‘It was freaking me out,’ she said.
‘My boyfriend at the time is my boyfriend now and he was fine when I told him. He said that we would just deal with it when the time came.’
Since sharing her experiences on social media to raise awareness, Tee said many women have come forward revealing they are going through a similar condition.
‘The craziest thing about posting it is the amount of girls who have commented saying they have similar problems. They didn’t realise that it wasn’t normal,’ she said.
‘I’m glad I’m not the only person. I honestly thought for a while there that maybe I was an idiot for not realising you weren’t supposed to have two openings down there.
‘But after posting a video about it, I’ve realised no one really knows that we weren’t supposed to have two. It is something I’m not worried about anymore. That was me, now it’s over and I’m good now.’
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