May 25, 2024

Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome: Being Born Female Without A Vagina

The ‘right’ treatment option for each in person depends on a variety of factors, including age, overall health, personal preferences, and goals for treatment.

“I was an absolute trainwreck for many years to come,» said Ally. “Sadly, unable to express my inner turmoil, and feelings of disgust and inadequacy, I went on a rampage with boys, booze, and bingeing. If I could validate my lack of self-worth, I did,» she added.

In the end, unable to find the support she needed, in her early 30s Ally decided to go on a mission to educate people about MRKH and  de-stigmatise the shame associated with the condition. «I came to my own realisation that I am worthy. Really worthy of happiness, self-acceptance, healthy relationships, and perhaps, that this is my calling in life. To herald that the only thing normal in this world is difference. ”

What about MRKH and Fertility?

People with MRKH cannot carry a pregnancy due to the absence or underdevelopment of the uterus. However, there are several options available for them to have children if that’s what they feel is right for them, including uterine transplant, surrogacy, adoption or ovarian tissue transplantation. These options may not be suited to everyone, and they come with their own set of risks and considerations.

“There are so many aspects to MRKH; sex and relationship, infertility, mental health, and social expectations. That’s a lot for any teenager (and supporting family) to unravel. Not to mention that so many women and people feel silenced, hidden, and ashamed of who they are. We need to tackle the taboo, not hide from it,» Ally said.

Unlearning ‘Womanhood’

The idea of unlearning womanhood is about challenging and dismantling societal norms and expectations of what it means to be a woman, and rejecting the idea that there is a single, monolithic definition of womanhood.

A helpful way to think about this, is through challenging your own internal bias of the gender roles, expectations, and stereotypes that are often placed on women. This could mean examining our own assumptions, as well as the ways in which society reinforces these ideas through media, advertising, and cultural narratives.

“I didn’t feel that there was a dropdown menu for me in groups of women, or society even, as I memorised the names of contraceptive pills and sanitary products to fit in,» Ally revealed. “The pressure is too much for anyone to handle alone, however, we need to create safe spaces to explore these discussions. We need to be able to ask the questions, even when we don’t always get the dialogue right the first time, to truly learn and empathise with each other. We need to build up confidence and worth, not based on a set of unachievable criterias, but what makes a person ultimately happy and included. All I’ve ever wanted is to feel happy living in my own skin. To love, and be loved. And to anyone who cannot untangle what it means to see “different”, well, that’s more on them. Difference is beautiful and the world needs it,” she added.

It can also involve questioning the traditional binary system of gender altogether, and recognising the diversity and complexity of gender identities and expressions. This includes acknowledging and supporting the experiences of transgender and non-binary people, as well as challenging the rigid gender roles and expectations that can be harmful to all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

A person’s gender identity is determined by their internal sense of self and the gender they identify with, regardless of their physical anatomy. The progression of these conversations over the last few years has shown us the importance of respecting and supporting individuals in their gender identity and not reducing womanhood to one particular physical characteristic.

Ultimately, unlearning womanhood is a deeply personal and ongoing process that requires self-reflection, education, and a commitment to challenging societal norms and expectations. Listening to and learning from the experiences of those who have been marginalised by traditional notions of gender, is a great place to start.

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