The young English woman Tk Kennedy was 17 years old when she was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), the condition caused her to be born without a uterus and with an underdeveloped vagina.
The syndrome was not so easily discovered. Initially, because she didn’t menstruate, doctors suspected that she was suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. Only after performing an ultrasound, they realized that she had no uterus and referred them to specialists who made the correct diagnosis.
Treatment of the vaginal canal
Now 20, Kennedy will need to undergo extensive treatment to dilate the birth canal, which includes using a 40-minute dilator twice a day for at least three months. This treatment will enable the young woman to have sex.
“I have a very short birth canal and no cervix or uterus. My birth canal is not well developed so it’s too small. Therefore, I cannot have comfortable sex without treatment or surgery”, the young woman told the newspaper The Mirror.
“With treatment, you use dilators. It starts with a tiny little one, the size of your little finger, and stretches to widen the vagina so that when you have sex, it’s comfortable and pain-free. “You can also dilate during sex, but it’s likely to be very painful because there’s basically no space,” he explained.
Despite learning to embrace her condition, Kennedy says she has to deal with the frustration of not being able to get pregnant.
“Anyone with MRKH can probably agree and report that one of the top comments is ‘oh you’re so lucky you don’t have periods.’ But actually I’m not lucky because I’m missing something much better than not having my period,” he said.
The young woman runs an institute that aims to support young women newly diagnosed with the disease. She said she gained “another family” through her involvement. “When I met my best friend with MRKH, she helped me realize that I didn’t need to suffer in silence, I have someone to cry with. Now I can help other people with that, support them and spread awareness, and one day I could have a child of mine through adoption and give them a loving family.”
According to a medical article by the Fleury group, the estimated incidence of Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH) is one case for every 4,000 to 5,000 births.
The condition is a congenital malformation characterized, in most cases, by a shortening or even absence of the vaginal canal. The change is usually discovered from the gynecological examination.
In addition to the history and physical examination, imaging studies play a central role in the diagnosis of the syndrome, as they allow the assessment of the degree and extension of gynecological abnormalities.