My sister called me just to tell me that Tyra Banks has a panel of women who identified as having more than one vagina and/or uterus. Because of the TV conversion last year I only get two channels and that is not one of them.
Needless to say on twitter this evening everyone is talking about it. So I thought I might share some information for you regarding this physical experience. The proper term for having two (or more) vaginas is septate vagina. The proper term for having two (or more) uterus is uterus didelphys.
Here is a great foto from the folks at The Global Library of Women's Medicine (althought I don't appreciate the title that much of this entry). Here you will see several different vaginas, cervix and uterus. The vagina is at the bottom of each image and looks like the long tube that is extending upwards. It connects to the cervix which you can see is the darker colored part that has a "W" shape with an opening. The uterus is the larger top part of the image.
In these images you can see how the vagina can be split leading to one uterus, how one vagina can lead to two uterus that have split, or how two vaginas can lead to two separate uterus. As listed on the website of The Global Library of Women's Medicine here are how the images are named:
Uterine fusion anomalies. A. Normal uterus. B. Unicornuate uterus. C. Arcuate uterus. D. Septate uterus. E. Bicornuate uterus. F. Didelphic uterus with a septate vagina. (From Simpson JL: Disorders of Sexual Differentiation: Etiology and Clinical Delineation. New York; Academic Press, 1976.)
If you or someone you know have these body parts it is important to make sure your diagnosis is correct and by a physician. For some people there may be challenges of various forms and for others there are no challenges. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed of your body or that of your partner. The one person in my life who I know has septate vagina appreciates this gift.
This also begs the question of virginity. See how biology has screwed us up so much? If we imagined a world where our bodies can do amazing things regardless of how they look versus vilifying those bodies that look and function differently it will and does affect our socialization.
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