A teenager has spoken of her 'total shock' at being told at the age of 17 she had no vagina.
Jacqui Beck, 19, has MRKH, an rare syndrome which affects the reproductive system - meaning she has no womb, cervix or vaginal opening.
She was only diagnosed after she went to her GP about back pain - and mentioned in passing that she hadn't started her periods.
Tests revealed her condition and that where her vagina should be, there is simply an ident, or 'dimple' - meaning she is unable to have sex or carry her own child.
Women with the condition appear completely normal externally - which means it is usually not discovered until a woman tries to have sex, or has not had her first period.
Miss Beck, from the Isle of Wight, admits when she was first diagnosed, she felt 'like a freak'.
'I'd never considered myself different from other women and the news was so shocking, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
‘I was sure the doctor had got it wrong, but when she explained that was why I wasn’t having periods, it all started to make sense.
‘She then explained that I would never be able to carry a child and might have to have surgery before I could have sex.
‘I left the doctors in tears - I would never know what it was like to give birth, be pregnant, have a period. All the things I had imagined doing suddenly got erased from my future.
'I was really angry and felt like I wasn’t a real woman any more.'
Because she had never attempted to have a physical relationship, Miss Beck had never noticed the problem herself. Had she tried, she would have discovered it was impossible for her to have sex.
When scans showed nothing, she was referred to a gynaecologist, who immediately spotted something was wrong.
Miss Beck said: ‘My other scan results had been sent to her and just from looking at them, she knew I had MRKH.
‘She sat me down and basically explained that I didn’t have a womb, or a vagina, that I was born without them and instead just had a small dimple in it’s place.'
Focusing on her treatment, Miss Beck was admitted to the Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital in London, which specialises in the condition.
There, she was given dilation treatment, which involved using different sized dilators to try and stretch her vaginal canal - but was told if it didn’t work, she would have to be operated on.
Honest: Miss Beck says she now wants to speak out about her condition to raise awareness of it
She said: ‘I spent two days there, getting taught how to use the dilator and learning more about MRKH.
‘The first time the nurse showed me how to use a dilator I nearly died of embarrassment. But now I've got used to it, I see it as any other form of treatment.