A woman has discovered she has two cervixes and two wombs after an ultrasound scan revealed a baby in each sac.
Katie Uzzell, 23, from Lincoln, suffered debilitating period pains since the age of 12 that caused her to faint, vomit and unable to walk on some occasions.
Following a succession of visits to the GP, Katie’s discomfort was dismissed as acute period pains and she was advised to ‘learn to live with it’.
Katie, a service advisor, said: "I felt stupid that this apparent 'normal period pain' made me so unwell and I couldn't understand why other girls around me could cope so well with the pain. It was really confusing at such a young age and scary that I could be facing this pain every month for my whole life.’
But when Katie met her now husband Liam when she was 18 everything began to change.
Starting a family was important to the couple and Katie stopped her contraceptive injection - which she used to dull her monthly pains - in 2018 shortly after the pair married.
In November 2018, Katie fell pregnant and a scan at four weeks revealed she didn't have a misshaped uterus as suggested previously, she in fact has a condition called uterus didelphys.
Uterus didelphys is a disorder that develops before birth in which a woman has two uteruses instead of one - a patient can also have two cervixes and in some cases two vaginas.
A year earlier the mum-to-be was given the diagnosis of a misshapen uterus when she was sent for an exploratory laparoscopy to look for endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the normal lining on the inside of the uterus grows on the outside. This proved to be incorrect.
In Katie’s case, she has two wombs, two cervixes and a partial vaginal septum as her birth canal is split in two almost all the way down.
She said: "It wasn't until I was pregnant and having early scans that uterus didelphys was confirmed. I've been told that my anatomy is one in a million.”
In the early stages of pregnancy her child was growing in the left womb, but at eight weeks a second baby was found in the right womb.
Two weeks later, doctors discovered the baby in her right womb had stopped growing - but the baby in the left sac was thriving. If both children had been viable, they would have been unidentical twins.
Katie added: "Obviously two babies would have been so exciting but at the same time I was very nervous because it's rare to get to full term with just one baby with uterus didelphys, so I was worried about the length of time my body would be able to carry two babies.
"What hurt me most was when people heard I had two wombs they would make comments like 'so you could have a baby in each womb'. And I explained that there was a baby in each womb to start with, then people would say 'well at least you've got one'."
The risks of uterus didelphys are such that each baby has a smaller space to develop and their growth can be stinted by the confines.
With the baby in her left sac, Katie’s bump protruded to the left, causing her to wear black maternity clothes to avoid comments about the shape.
However, at 37 weeks Katie welcomed baby Sienna in the evening of July 13, weighing 5lb 12oz.
Katie - who counts herself lucky to have a baby as it is difficult for women with the condition to conceive - is unsure if she will have a second baby due to the severe pains that return when she is not using the contraceptive injection.
To see more, visit www.instagram.com/katieuzzell or go to Katie's blog at completelykatie.com