A student who was born with two uteruses and two vaginas could get pregnant without realizing – because she will still get a period from one womb, despite carrying a fetus in the other.
Paige DeAngelo, 20, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has uterine didelphys, meaning she was born with two fully-functioning reproductive systems, and therefore has two uteruses, two cervixes and two vaginas.
She also gets two periods, meaning she could be pregnant in one of her uteruses and wouldn’t know about it until she had other symptoms; she could also get pregnant in both wombs at the same time.
She had suffered with irregular periods – sometimes one every two weeks – for years, but she wasn’t diagnosed until she visited a gynecologist for the first time, aged 18.
It was just a normal check-up, but the doctor told her that she should probably call her mother, Carol Ann VanAuken, 53, to hear the news.
She said: ‘I always had a very irregular period but it was actually two cycles switching on and off.
‘Sometimes it would be once a month and other times it would be twice a month, only a couple weeks apart.’
Paige said when she tells people, their reactions are always shocked, and she added one big misconception is the anatomy of her body.
She said: ‘People think they’re two separate vaginas on the outside but that is not the case which is why I didn’t find out for 18 years.
‘Each “side” is half the size of a normal vagina. It doesn’t cause any issues but it’s definitely noticeable.’
Speaking of the appointment where she found out, Paige said: ‘She didn’t tell me straight away, but when I saw the look on her face I knew something wasn’t right.
‘We had no idea the severity of it.’
The teen was told there was likely just some extra tissue, but was booked in for an MRI the following week.
Paige said: ‘The person that gave it actually gasped and laughed out loud when they first saw it.
Paige’s condition puts her at a much higher risk of premature births or miscarriages, because her uteri are much smaller than usual.
She was told by a doctor that if she wanted to have children she’d probably have to have a surrogate.