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A Doctor's Visit, a Shocking Find: She Had No Vagina

Kaylee Moats is fundraising for a surgical remedy for genetic disorder
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2017 2:16 PM CDT

(Newser) Us Weekly is reporting on the fundraising efforts of an Arizona woman "raising money so she can have sex," though it's more complex than the headline might imply. That woman is 22-year-old Kaylee Moats, who tells Barcroft TV that when she was 18, her 12-year-old sister got her first period, but Moats still hadn't. Concerned, she went to the doctor, where she discovered the shocking reason underlying the issue: Per Live Science, Moats was told she had a rare genetic disorder called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which affects one out of every 4,500 female babies, leaving her without a vagina, uterus, or cervix (they never develop fully, or at all, in utero). Because women with this disorder are genetically female and typically have normal-looking outside genitalia, they often don't realize they even have this condition until their menstrual cycle fails to start.

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There are various remedies available, including enlarging an underdeveloped vagina with a "dilator," or by having surgery that reconstructs the vagina or implants a new one (this last option is still experimental). Moats is ready for reconstructive surgery, but her insurance considers it cosmetic surgery or a gender reassignment and won't cover the $15,000 cost. So her sister Amanda set up a GoFundMe page, raising more than $17,000 so far for the procedure itself, as well as for counseling and hotel and flight expenses to the Atlanta area, where the procedure will take place. In the meantime, with cash coming in from strangers, a supportive family and boyfriend—"he accepts me for who I am"—and hopes that she can one day be a mom via a gestational surrogate, Moats is staying positive. "I'm still trying to accept myself, accept what I have, and not dwell on it," Moats says in the video. (Read more rare genetic disorder stories.)

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