Nursery worker, 20, reveals she faces more than 60 HOURS of agonising treatment to stretch her vagina so that she can have sex after being born without a womb or cervix and an underdeveloped vaginal canal
- TK Kennedy, 20, from Dorset, has Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome
- Missing her womb, cervix and part of her vagina and has never had a period
- Said: ‘You smile and laugh but behind closed doors it a kick in the teeth’
- Is hoping to kickstart ‘painful’ daily treatment to dilate her vaginal canal
- Treatment will take 20 minutes twice a day for a minimum of three months
A nursery worker faces more than 60 hours of agonising treatment to stretch her vagina – just so that she can have sex.
Tk Kennedy, from Verwood, Dorset, was 17-years-old when she was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome – meaning she is missing her womb, cervix and part of her vagina and will never have a period or be able to carry her own children.
The 20-year-old said that after coming to terms with her ‘life-changing’ diagnosis she’s hoping to start a ‘painful’ and ‘uncomfortable’ treatment to dilate her vaginal canal for 20 minutes twice a day, for a minimum of three months.
The avid dancer revealed she smiles and laughs when told she’s ‘lucky’ to not have periods but admitted it’s actually a ‘kick in the teeth’ each time she hears the comment because she’d always dreamed of becoming a mother.
She revealed: ‘It’s like “Yeah but actually I’d take periods any day to be able to have a child”…I’m not lucky because I’m missing out on something far better than not having periods.’
Tk Kennedy, from Verwood, Dorset, faces more than 60 hours of agonising treatment to stretch her vagina – just so that she can have sex
She was 17-years-old when she was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome
Tk said she had her first doctor’s appointment in April 2019 and had an MRI before she was transferred to a hospital that specialised in MRKH where she was eventually diagnosed that October.
Tk said: ‘When I was 17 I still hadn’t started my period and had gone to the doctors and told them and they said ‘oh, you’re just a late bloomer’, ‘it will be fine, you’ll start’ and kept pushing me away.
‘I [later] was like ‘look, this is it, I’ve had enough, don’t push me away. Something’s up because I still haven’t started’.
‘They said that they thought I might have polycystic ovary syndrome and sent me for an ultrasound and after an hour he was like ‘oh, maybe you just don’t have a womb’.
Tk is missing her womb, cervix and part of her vagina and will never have a period or be able to carry her own children
The avid dancer revealed she laughs when told she’s ‘lucky’ to not have periods but admitted it’s actually a ‘kick in the teeth’ each time she hears the comment
The teenager said she’s hoping to start a ‘painful’ and ‘uncomfortable’ treatment to dilate her vaginal canal for 20 minutes twice a day, for a minimum of three months
‘And I was like ‘wait, hold up, what? You can be born without a womb?’
‘The first thing I did was research it so I’d come across MRKH and understood what it was. It was kind of overwhelming because there was so much to process and it was like “well actually this fits and makes sense and I think I have it” but it was also “I don’t want to think I have it because I don’t want to have it”.
‘I went with my mum [for a later appointment] and he sat me down and said “looking over your scan photos, I’m really sorry but you have MRKH”.
‘The appointment before was “maybe you have it”, I grieved then. So it was more just the shock of “wow, I do actually have it” and my life has been changed, now I have to live with this condition and all the plans for the future about pregnancy are no more. It was a big shock.’
The 20-year-old said being diagnosed was a ‘shock’ and ‘changed her life’ because she has had to change her plans around future pregnancies
The 20-year-old said she has ovaries so can have her own biological children through a surrogate.
Tk said: ‘I told my best friend pretty soon after I got diagnosed and she just hugged me and we cried because we talked about being pregnant at the same time and she understood the heart-break it was for me.’
She said: ‘Anyone with MRKH can probably agree and relate that one of the top comments is. “Oh, you’re so lucky you don’t have periods”.
‘I get pain with mine, a bit like a period pain but there isn’t a pattern with it at the moment.
‘The pain varies. Sometimes it might just be one uncomfortable pain and other times I’m curled up in a ball on the floor.’
While she doesn’t get periods, Tk said she does ‘get pain’ with her MRKH syndrome which is a ‘bit like a period pain’
Nursery practitioner Tk is passionate about raising awareness of MRKH online and said her diagnosis is something she’s ‘learned to embrace’
Nursery practitioner Tk is passionate about raising awareness of MRKH online and said her diagnosis is something she’s ‘learned to embrace’ and see as a ‘strength’ given she can support and help other women.
Tk, said: ‘I have a very short vagina canal and don’t have a cervix or a womb. My vaginal canal is not properly developed so it’s very very little so I’m unable to have comfortable sex without treatment or surgery.
‘With treatment you use dilators and start with a very very tiny one no bigger than the size of your pinky and stretch to make your vagina canal bigger so that when it comes to sex it’s comfortable and you’re stretched big enough to be able to have sex without it being painful.
‘You have to do treatment for 20 minutes twice a day which is a lot and for me I work 10 hour days four days a week, so trying to fit it either side of that can be quite challenging. I’m still yet to work that out beforehand.
Tk hopes that the treatment will transform her life and allow her to have sex in a more comfortable way
‘I think it’s three months if your body takes to it but again depending on the person they might not have to dilate as much because their vagina canal is longer and it can vary, and if your body takes to it, it can be shorter but if it doesn’t it can be more work and make it longer.
‘You can dilate through sex but it’s likely to be very painful because there’s basically no room to be able to have sex.
‘It depends on the person because they might have a long enough vagina canal so they can have sex and it might only be uncomfortable for the first few times.
‘All my girlfriends are obviously not doing it so it’s just another thing that highlights how different I am and a reminder of this condition because it can be quite upsetting and it’s not a nice thing to go through and going to be painful and uncomfortable, but yet it’s something that I want to do so that I can have sex.’
The keen singer said that she’s gained ‘another family’ from her involvement with the organisation MRKH Stars
The 20-year-old said she’s feeling ready to start treatment and is hoping to do so next year at the same time as a friend so they can support one another through it.
She said 20 minutes twice a day is recommended because you can have a day break within the week but if you don’t persevere with it, it can take longer.
The keen singer jointly runs MRKH Stars which aims to support young and newly diagnosed women with the condition and she said that she’s gained ‘another family’ from her involvement.
Tk said: ‘The positives I’ve found are friendships – without MRKH I would never have met these girls and actually have a really good friendship with them, and I can wear white when I like.
‘I don’t shy away from [MRKH] or hide it and shout from the rooftops [online] that I have this condition but I’m not going to let it consume me and I’m going to use it to my advantage to support others and spread awareness.
Tk said she does not want her condition to ‘consume’ her and is positive she wants to use it to her advantage to support and help others
The 20-year-old said she now sees her diagnosis as ‘a strength’ instead of a ‘weakness’ in her life (pictured)
‘It’s nice to know that I can help others with it and raise awareness because I don’t want them to go through what I went through, to have it in a way dropped on my lap, I want to give them the head up that it’s a condition and it’s not rare, it’s just not talked about enough.
‘When I met my best friend with MRKH she helped me realise that I didn’t need to suffer in silence, I have someone to grieve with and understands where I’m coming from.
‘I can now help others with it by supporting them and spreading awareness, and one day I could have a child of my own through adoption and give them a loving family.
‘Now I don’t see it as a weakness, I see it as a strength.’
WHAT IS MAYER ROKITANSKY KUSTER HAUSER?
Rokitansky Syndrome, or MRKH (Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser), is a congenital abnormality characterised by the absence of the vagina, womb and cervix.
Women suffering from the condition will have normally functioning ovaries, so will experience the normal signs of puberty – but will not have periods or be able to conceive.
The external genatalia are completely normal which is why MRKH isn’t usually discovered until women are in their teenage years.
Rokitansky Syndrome, or MRKH (Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser), is a congenital abnormality characterised by the absence of the vagina, womb and cervix
Many women are able to create a vaginal canal using dilation treatment, which uses cylinder shaped dilators of different sizes to stretch the muscles.
However, if this is unsuccessful then surgery will be used to stretch the vaginal canal.
Following treatment women are able to have intercourse and can have their eggs removed and fertilised to be used in surrogacy. However, those without ovaries won’t ever be able to have children because they don’t produce any eggs.
It affects one in 5,000 live female births, according to an 1985 article in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
Source: Centre for Disorders of Reproductive Development & Adolescent
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