When 18-year-old Kaylee Moats still hadn’t started menstruating, she knew something was wrong.
Her 12-year-old sister had just started her first period, and despite her parents telling Kaylee she was just a late bloomer, she knew she had to see a gynaecologist.
The real reason her period hadn't started could never have been anticipated.
The Arizona woman, now 22 years old, is unable to have children or have sex, and wants reconstructive surgery to create a vaginal opening.
“It makes me feel less of a woman,” she said of her condition. “They’re supposed to carry children and create a family and have an intimate relationship and I can’t provide that.”
“Seeing how my mum reacted,” she continued, “it made me sad that I wasn’t able to provide grandchildren for her one day.”
Kaylee has since revealed that her sister and some of her close friends have offered to be surrogates.
Kaylee explained that her vagina looks exactly like it should, except her vaginal opening has “dimpled skin where the hole should be.” She still ovulates, but the egg dissolves in her uterus.
“It was hard being around people in high school and college when the girls would bring up their periods or talk about their pregnancies and kids,” she said.
Kaylee’s insurance company has deemed the procedure as cosmetic, and won’t cover the cost, so her last resort is crowd-funding. Her sister, Amanda, set up a GoFundMe account for her with a goal of US$15,000. In two months, she has raised more than US$8,000.
Her boyfriend of four months, Robbie, has been nothing but supportive through it all.
“It took about a month for me to tell him that I have MRKH. He was confused at first but supportive and said that it doesn't change how he sees me,” she told Daily Mail.
“It didn’t really change my feelings about her,” Robbie explained. “I’m amazed that she hasn’t let it define her … She inspires me every day to be more like that.”
Kaylee is nervous about what intimacy will look like post-surgery.
She said, “I’m a bit nervous to have sex for the first time after surgery because I'm not sure if something is going to go wrong down there or if it's going to hurt.”
Kaylee's final message is to MRKH sufferers: “For people that have MRKH, I'd tell them that you're not alone - even though you may feel alone.”