15/11/2013 14:04 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Girl Found Out She Had No Vagina - Aged 17

A teenager who was born without a vagina has revealed she only found out about her condition at the age of 17.

Jacqui Beck, now 19, 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.

Further tests revealed she has MRKH, a rare syndrome which affects the reproductive system - meaning she has no womb, cervix or vaginal opening.

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.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Jacqui said: "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, Jacqui had never noticed the problem herself.

And when she didn't get her periods, like her friends, she just thought it was because she was a late developer.

MRKH affects one in 5,000 women in the UK. Most discover they have the condition because they haven't started their periods, but some find out when they struggle to have intercourse.

Jacqui is trying to see her condition in a positive light and hopes to one day meet the right man.

She said: "If he has a problem with it, then he's not the kind of guy I want to go out with.

"I want to be upfront with any men I meet and tell them straight away about my condition. I don't want them to feel tricked into being with me."

Jacqui has since undergone dilation treatment at a London hospital, which involves using different-sized dilators to stretch her vaginal canal, so she can now be sexually intimate with a partner.

She also said she will be upfront about her condition with future boyfriends.

"I'm a hopeless romantic and I see it as a great test of someone's character. Instead of focusing on it putting off men, I actually think it will help me find, 'the one'," she said.

And she added that though she is not thinking about having children at this stage in her life, she might one day use a surrogate mother or adopt.