Woman, 39, who was born without a vagina had to ‘make’ her own custom one to have sex

A woman who was born without a vagina has told how she had to ‘make’ her own custom-made one so that she could have a ‘normal’ sex life and ‘re-claim’ her female body.

Ally Hensley, 39, from Berkshire, Australia, has opened up about being diagnosed with a rare condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH) aged 16, which means she was born without a vagina.

MRKH, also known as Mullerian Agenesis, affects around one in 5,000 women globally and people with the condition are usually diagnosed in their late teens when they don’t experience a period.

Speaking to Mamamia, the writer, who was born without a womb, cervix and vagina and posts about her condition on her Instagram page @Ally_Hensley, explained: ‘During one of my first medical appointments, it was explained that the length of my vagina was roughly the length of a fingernail.’

‘My “dimple”, as they commonly call it, was extremely under-developed. If I wanted to have a ‘normal’ sex life and re-claim my female body, I would have to create my very own, custom-made vagina.’

Ally Hensley (pictured), 39, from Berkshire, has opened up about being diagnosed with a rare condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH), which means she was born without a vagina

Ally (pictured) explained that for nine 'traumatic' months - morning and night - she would insert pink hard tubes into the fingernail-sized dimple and push hard

Ally (pictured) explained that for nine ‘traumatic’ months – morning and night – she would insert pink hard tubes into the fingernail-sized dimple and push hard

‘At the time there were two options – surgery or dilation – and I chose the latter as the less invasive treatment.’

Ally went on to explain that for nine ‘traumatic’ months – morning and night – she would insert pink hard tubes into the fingernail-sized dimple and push hard.

She added that eventually, the routine would create her a vagina.

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

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.

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Even 23 years on, Ally says it’s still something she often thinks about.

‘I will never forget the position I had to get into to force a dilator into my body – flat on my back with my feet on the floor and my knees apart,’ she penned.

‘It still haunts me, whenever I get into that position in yoga. It’s surreal that, as a 39-year-old woman, I’m walking around with a vagina that I made myself.’

But consumed with shame and trauma, as a young woman Ally struggled to come to terms with MRKH and the complexities of this life- altering diagnosis.

She went on to explain how her genetic path hit a ‘pothole in the road’ during the first six to eight weeks of gestation – which is the primary time when our reproductive organs develop.

But Ally still had hope – adding that not all parts of her absent system were lost.

With the presence of ovaries, her oestrogen was firing meaning that  from the outside, nobody would be none the wise because she has boobs, hips and the external genitalia you typically seen on a female.

However, she did admit that it was a body shape she ‘didn’t grow comfortably.’

Ally also branded it ‘massively traumatic’ to never be able to experience pregnancy or childbirth – and to lose her virginity to ‘pyrex cylinders.’

In a desperate bid to fit in with her mates, she went on to say how she would ‘memorise’ contraception pills,’ took a pregnancy test so she knew what it felt like and ‘needed to be drunk to have sex.’

But as her biological clock ticked away, Ally, who admitted to ‘dabbling’ in eating disorders and self-harm, had to decide whether she ever wanted to become a mother.

While she was fortunate enough for a friend to offer to be a surrogate, several IVF appointments and blood tests later, Ally arrived at the difficult decision that it just wasn’t part of her life plan – and that she needed ‘time to recover.’

Now, Ally is speaking out to raise awareness of the condition and is Founder and Vice President of MRKH Australia – a not-for-profit organisation that provides a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for people impacted by MRKH.

She goes on to highlight how her experiences have helped her to learn that while our pasts help to shape us, they do not ‘define us’ – adding ‘our anatomy doesn’t choose who we can become.’

Consumed with shame and trauma, as a young woman Ally (pictured) struggled to come to terms with MRKH and the complexities of this life- altering diagnosis

Consumed with shame and trauma, as a young woman Ally (pictured) struggled to come to terms with MRKH and the complexities of this life- altering diagnosis

Ally's (pictured) genetic path hit a 'pothole in the road' during the first six to eight weeks of gestation - which is the primary time when our reproductive organs develop

Ally’s (pictured) genetic path hit a ‘pothole in the road’ during the first six to eight weeks of gestation – which is the primary time when our reproductive organs develop

Ally (pictured) is now speaking out to raise awareness of the condition and is Founder and Vice President of MRKH Australia - a not-for-profit organisation that provides a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for people impacted by MRKH

Ally (pictured) is now speaking out to raise awareness of the condition and is Founder and Vice President of MRKH Australia – a not-for-profit organisation that provides a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for people impacted by MRKH

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