A UK businessman, Duane Walters, is the world’s first man to have a womb in conjunction with male organs therefore meaning he is able to get pregnant.
Doctors originally thought he had cancer, but then discovered he actually had a womb. He is set to become the first male in history to undergo a hysterectomy, which doctors fear may trigger a menopause.
The condition comes from an extremely rare genetic disorder called Persistent Mullerian duct syndrome (PMDS). Walters was once anonymous, but has now decided to speak to the press about his troubling experience. He says that he’s always had a dull ache after having intercourse, but doctors told him that it was nothing to worry about.
It wasn’t until doctors took a closer look that they realized that Walters has a fully-functioning uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. He and his wife Katie Morris are speaking to the media about their situation in order to raise awareness about the difficult condition.
The two live in the city of Lancashire, and have been trying to have a baby for two years. It turns out that Walters will never be the father of the couple’s children, at least not biologically. This has left the two devastated.
Doctors tested Walters for bladder cancer after finding blood in his urine, which he suffered from on numerous occasions. The couple had a difficult time telling their loved ones, but they’ve been extremely supportive.
“I’ve only told a handful close friends but everyone has been very supportive. Telling my mum was the worst thing. She just cried. It is so hard to understand,” he said.
“But ultimately we have all taken comfort from the fact I am not dying and at least now I hopefully have the chance to become a dad.”
Duane’s wife is going to stand by him no matter what. They plan to ride this out together.
“It hasn’t changed how I feel about Duane. He is just Duane – a loving, caring individual – a man who is my soulmate,” Katie said.
Katie has two children from a previous relationship and says that Duane is a wonderful stepfather.
PMDS is a rare genetic disorder which occurs when the body fails to produce or respond to certain hormones while developing during pregnancy. Duane says that he’s had blood in his urine since his teenage years, and now realizes that it could have been his monthly menstrual cycle. Because he has ovaries, it appears that he may have been producing eggs all along and could have gotten pregnant (not the normal way, of course).
The day the couple found out what was going on, he was worried it could be something worse.
“So when he said I should sit down as he had something to tell me, I was shaking. I replied, “Am I going to die?’. I was convinced it was cancer,” he said.
“But then he said, ‘No, but I am going to tell you something it’s going to be hard to get your head around.’”
“He then went on to explain the scan had located a fully functioning uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and I even had a cervix. He struggled to fully explain it. He said he was an experienced doctor but in his whole career he’d never seen anything like it.”