When she was 12, Devan Merck discovered that she had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome – meaning that she has no vaginal canal, a malformed uterus and no cervix.She suffered bullying at school because of her condition and was shunned by boyfriends until meeting her husband, Trent.
Now Devan, 23, is speaking out about the experience to help others battle the stigma the condition can have.‘For years I was bullied and felt different,’ she says. ‘Kids would call me a ‘boy’ and a ‘freak’ and boyfriends would disappear when they realised I wouldn’t have sex.
‘But since I met my husband, my life has changed completely. We recently discovered I have both my ovaries and we are hoping to have a biological child of our own.‘Everything I’ve been through has made me stronger and I think I will make an amazing mother.’
Devan first noticed something wasn’t right as a pre-teen when she started suffering from excruciating cramps, which doctors said were the beginning of her periods.Woman born without vagina hopes to have children.
Eventually, her mum found a specialist who diagnosed her with the condition which affects just one in 5,000 women.At 13, Devan had surgery to remove her malformed uterus and three years later, she had a procedure to ‘make’ her a vagina so that she was able to have sex.‘They had to basically make a vaginal opening for me so that I can have intercourse,’ she says.
‘I had a thick layer of skin that covered my vaginal opening that they had to cut open then they took skin from my bottom and placed it inside of me.’That skin was then rolled up and inserted into the newly created opening to form a vaginal canal.She lost her virginity shortly after the operation but her boyfriend at the time shamed her about it – saying she ‘felt’ and ‘smelled’ different to other girls with her ‘artificial vagina’.
It wasn’t until after she left school that she met her husband of five years, Trent, who serves in the US military.The couple have recently found out that Devon is carrying eggs in her ovaries – meaning that they can have their own biological baby if they use a surrogate.
‘All I’ve ever wanted is to be a mum and after everything I’ve been through I finally feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel,’ she says.Trent, 28, says: ‘I am very proud of Devan. I know that this condition is really difficult emotionally and I am just glad I am here to support her.‘I think she feels guilty about it but I never want her to feel that way and I don’t ever hold it against her.’