Woman Born With Two Thirds of a Vagina Speaks Out About Being Told She Wasn't a 'Real Woman'


Between cramps and bloating, it can be easy to forget that not everyone who identifies as a woman experiences painful PMS symptoms. Just because someone doesn't get a period, can't get pregnant, or doesn't have a full vagina doesn't mean that person is not a woman. One Canadian-based woman named Briana Fletcher is sharing her story with the world to remind everyone of just that. 

  • Briana Fletcher, 23, has Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (or MRKH for short); as a result, she was born with about two thirds of her vagina.

    MRKH is a rare condition in which someone is born with the uterus and vagina underdeveloped or absent. Usually, there are no external clues. 

    In Fletcher's case, she was born without a uterus and the upper two thirds of her vaginal canal, according to the Daily Mail.

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  • Fletcher, like most other women with MRKH, was diagnosed when she was a teen and had yet to get her period.

    At first, she didn't think much of the fact that she hadn't menstruated yet, and her doctor attributed it to her low weight. But by age 16, she had ultrasounds, blood work, and MRIs to confirm her MRKH, all of which she called "invasive and confrontational" on Instagram.

    "The gynecologist was blunt when she explained it," Fletcher wrote on Instagram. "She confessed she didn't know much about it and she had never seen a case before." 

    Fletcher herself went digging online, only to find notations and PDF files, but not many other personal accounts.

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  • Now she's taking the initiative to spread awareness to her condition, which is sometimes still treated as taboo by others.

    She told the Daily Mail she can be a "bit offended" when other women tell her she's "lucky" to not have her period. In these instances, she tries to remember that "they're only speaking from their experience and I'm only speaking from mine." 

    Although she has a fiancé now, she says that her ex used to accept her condition but sometimes use it against her in arguments by saying she wasn't a "real woman."

    (Which is, of course, untrue. When it comes to her sex life, although it can be a bit "challenging," it's also 100 percent possible. Just like for women who don't have MRKH, being aroused -- which makes the vagina expand -- and using lube are key to making intercourse pleasurable for her.)

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  • Probably the most challenging reality for Fletcher to cope with was the idea of not being able to get pregnant.

    "I was overcome with loneliness and emptiness," she wrote on Instagram. "I'd always wanted a family. I felt robbed of the chance to have that."

    But after connecting with other women with MRKH and learning more about her options for adoption and surrogacy, she's now realized that it has nothing to do with her ability to feel like a mother -- or a woman. 

    "It is so ingrained in society that women must be mothers to feel fulfilled, but the more I looked into things the more I realized I don't need to carry a child to be a mother," she told the Daily Mail

    "Not being able to carry a child does not make you any more or any less of a woman," she added.