Every time Sophie Loader has her period, she goes into labor for up to 72 hours.
The 23-year-old has uterus bicornis, a rare condition in which she was born with two separate wombs, reports the Mirror.
One womb functions normally, but every month, Loader’s second uterus fills up with blood, resulting in painful contractions similar to what she would feel when giving birth to a baby.
The only thing that helps her cope is breathing exercises, reports ITV.
“I’ve been in labor more than 100 times, but only once for real,” Loader, who has a 2-year-old son named Chase, said, according to the Mirror. “To say that it’s a pain would be an understatement.”
Loader, who says she “wouldn’t wish this on any woman,” first discovered her unusual condition when she had her first period at age 13.
“I was doubled over in agony and my mom had to call an ambulance,” she said, according to the Mirror. “It was terrifying and felt like my insides were being ripped apart.”
For months, everybody was at a loss.
“I had never felt pain like it and couldn’t understand what was happening to me,” she told the Mirror, “it was terrifying – even the doctor thought I might be pregnant.”
Many tests later, doctors discovered that Loader was born with an extra uterus but one vagina.
“I was hospitalized more than 30 times because I couldn’t cope with the symptoms,” she said, according to ITV. “Each time they would give me gas and air to control the pain.”
Finally, she learned to use breathing techniques to control her pain. After she gave birth to her son, doctors fitted her with a contraceptive implant that sends her into labor only once every three months, which to her is a small relief.
“Being in labor once a month for eight years was exhausting,” she said. “You’d think it would be enough to put me off having a baby.
“But ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a mother.
“There were times when I wanted to give up, but I am so lucky to have Chase. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be having another baby any time soon.”
Sources: The Mirror, ITV