A transgender teenager who was born with male genitalia and raised as a boy has become pregnant after discovering that she also has functional female reproductive organs.
Mikey Chanel, 18, from Boston, Massachusetts, who identifies as a women, felt like she was different from the boys she grew up with, despite being raised as a male by her family.
While she was still in her mother’s womb, tests determined that Mikey was going to be born a girl, which left doctors and her parents shocked when he was born with male genitalia.
Speaking about growing up, Mikey said it was obvious to people very early on that she was different.
Transgender teen Mikey Chanel, 18, (pictured) from Boston, is currently four months pregnant after discovering she had female reproductive organs, despite being born with male genitalia
Mikey (pictured left as a child and right recently) was diagnosed with Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome, meaning she had male genitalia but internal female reproductive organs
She said: ‘It was obvious to everyone that I was different right from the start.
‘At age five I’d be playing with my aunt’s purses and putting on my mom’s lipstick.
‘I never felt like a boy. I was quite effeminate and I never really went through a whole “boy puberty” thing.
‘I only have a tiny bit of facial hair. I’ve always had a feminine-shaped body, with hips and a butt.
Mikey said that it was obvious to those close to her from an early age that she was ‘different’ because she would play with her mother’s lipstick and aunt’s purses
Mikey, seen showing off her growing bump, said she was bullied at school and was called names because she looked more feminine than the boys she grew up around
‘I got bullied at school, everyone told me I was a f****t, a tranny, since third grade, before I even knew what it meant really.’
At the age of 13, Mikey came out as gay and later wondered if she might be transgender.
Last year, she was undergoing routine tests at the doctors when it was revealed that she had internal female reproductive organs.
Mikey said: ‘I had been having a weird feeling after peeing and after sex, so they did an ultrasound of my urinary tract.
‘They told me that I had a cervix, ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes and that I could get pregnant if I wanted to.
‘I actually thought it was a joke. I didn’t even know this was possible. I was like “Haha where are the cameras?”. Then they showed me my uterus on the screen.’
Mikey came out as gay at the age of 13 before wondering whether she was transgender
After a routine doctor’s appointment found she had Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome, it was suggested that she had an immediate hysterectomy
Mikey was diagnosed with Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome (PMDS), a rare condition where a person has external male genitalia, but female reproductive organs internally.
Doctors advised Mikey to have an immediate hysterectomy.
Mikey said: ‘People with PDMS are susceptible to cancer and tumors and the risk is lessened if you have a hysterectomy.
‘My male parts came back infertile but I was told that my ovaries were functioning.
‘I was in a state of shock for a couple of weeks then I realized that I wouldn’t be able to have a child unless I carried it myself, and soon.
Mikey, pictured during an ultrasound, explained that people with PDMS are susceptible to cancer and tumors and the risk of both is lessened if they undergo a hysterectomy
The 18-year-old admitted that she has always wanted to be a parent and has always seen children in her future
What is Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome?
Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome affects some people who are born as males and it means they are born with both male genitalia and internal female reproductive organs.
The uterus and fallopian tubes found in those with PMDS are derived from the Müllerian duct, which is meant to have broken down during development of the foetus.
Those with the condition have normal male chromosomes and normal external male genitalia.
Symptoms include one or both testicles failing to descend, and fleshy hernias in the lower abdomen.
If the condition goes undiscovered into puberty, blood may also occur in the semen or urine after periods start.
‘I always knew I wanted to be a parent. I used to play with baby dolls when I was little and I’ve always seen kids in my future, so I decided, “It’s now or never I have to try and get pregnant.”‘
Following this, Mikey underwent a series of fertility procedures, including ICSI which involves donor sperm being injected directly into a woman’s egg to fertilize the embryo.
Due to Mikey not having a vaginal opening, three fertilized embryos were implanted into her fallopian tube via an abdominal cavity.
Mikey, who is four months pregnant, said: ‘I was told there was only about a 20 per cent chance it would work, but it worked, and I was so shocked but happy.
‘I can’t wait to be a parent. My parents weren’t around much when I was a kid, so I want to be the parent that my parents couldn’t be, I really want to be there for my child.
‘I want to be there for everything from the first step to the first word to them graduating from college, I want to be supportive in everything and anything they chose in life.’
After being prescribed estrogen to help with her pregnancy, Mikey says she feels more like a woman now more than ever before and hopes to continue her transition further after her baby is born.
Mikey (pictured with her grandmother as a child) hopes that by sharing her own story of PDMS that the stigmas around the condition will be challenged
Mikey said that she now feels more like a woman now then ever before after being prescribed estrogen. Pictured: Mikey as a child
Mikey is now sharing her story to try and raise awareness of PMDS and show that the condition is normal and could happen to anyone.
She also wants to break social stigmas related to gender nonconformity.
She said: ‘Nobody really speaks about this, most people have never even heard of it.
‘There isn’t a lot of research about it and there aren’t a lot of tests, often it’s found accidentally, like in my case.
‘I feel like there should be more research, I’m just trying to educate people about it. Once people understand it could break a really big stigma with gender and within LGBT communities.’