A young woman born without a crucial part of her digestive system and urinary tract has detailed the medical ordeal that’s plagued her young life.

Model Anja Christoffersen, now 25, suffers a congenital condition in which the urinary, genital, and digestive tracts converge, leaving her with a single opening in the pelvis where there should be three.

The ‘mutation’ called cloaca affects one in 50,000 girls, and means women like Anja are born with two vaginal canals, as well as two wombs, despite the singular opening.

In a series of TikTok clips, the young woman describes the devastating toll the condition has had upon her body; including 25 operations and life-long problems with incontinence, urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

‘I grew up with the belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to, despite my congenital condition,’ she said in her video, adding that her grandmother and mother told her the illness didn’t define her at a young age.

‘It doesn’t have to have an impact on your quality of life and the dreams that you can achieve.’

Ms Christoffersen is now a fashion model, walking the runways in Amsterdam’s Fashion Week. She also advocates for other people suffering the congenital condition.

Her first surgery was performed almost immediately after birth, and saw doctors perform a colostomy and vesicostomy to create openings in the abdominal wall to allow for the passage of stool and urine.

At seven months old, doctors operated on her pelvis, creating a cut all the way to her spine to separate the three tracts and create the standard three holes.

She has since had about 24 additional surgeries including those to reconstruct the pelvis and deal with abdominal issues among others

And urinary and bowel incontinence is a constant struggle, as she does not have natural muscles in her rectum or anus.

Ms Christoffersen was also born with an underdeveloped esophagus, meaning food could not reach her stomach. An abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus allowed food to enter the airways. All of this was repaired at birth.

She said: ‘When I was younger, I was in and out of hospital with chest and urinary infections, chronic constipation as I do not have natural bowel contractions, further medical imaging, treatment and surgeries.

Doctors do not know for sure what causes the cloacal anomaly, but it is believed to occur randomly.

Culled from franktalknow.com

By News Connect Online

News Connect Online is a grassroot advocacy news platform established to promote development and peace through efficient and effective reportage across all beats. Beat: Education, Entertainment Environment Energy Business Health, Sport, Foreign News, Advocacy, Tourism, Transportation

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