Surgery creates vagina for woman born without one
A YOUNG woman who was born without a vagina can now have sex, after a surgery which created a man-made vagina using a skin graft from her backside.
At 12 years old Devan Merck discovered she'd been born with no vaginal canal, a malformed uterus and no cervix, The Sun reports.
The woman, now 23, has what is known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a rare condition which causes those abnormalities to occur.
Devan and her husband Trent are now able to have sex and are looking forward to having children with the help of a surrogate.
"I am no different - instead of having a fully functioning vagina I have a man made vagina," Devan told The Sun.
"For years I was bullied and felt different.
"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 been me stronger and I think I will make an amazing mother."
The problems began when Devan was 12 years old and would experience excruciating cramps.
Doctors put it down to her starting her period until her mother took her to one specialist who correctly diagnosed her condition.
Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome affects one in 5000 women.
Devan underwent surgery to remove her uterus at just 13 years old.
Then, when she was sixteen, she had a vaginal canal made for her using a skin graft from her backside and a complicated procedure.
"They had to basically make a vaginal opening for me so that I can have intercourse," she told The Sun.
"I had a thick layer of skin that covered my vaginal opening that they had to cut open and then they took skin from my bottom and placed it inside of me."
The skin was rolled up into the new opening and Devan had to wear a foam insert inside her vagina to prevent the sides from fusing together.
Devan still endured years of bullying due to her condition.
"The name calling hurt. It hurt my feelings a lot but I dealt with it. It definitely made me a stronger person. I didn't judge, I just knew that they didn't understand," Devan told The Sun.
"I was scared to open up. I was scared of what guys would think about me.
"I was scared what they were going to do and say because I do have scars and I felt different.
"I couldn't have sex. So it was difficult to have a boyfriend that was okay with that.
"It definitely ended some relationships really quick. But those relationships were not meant to be, and that's OK."