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A woman hasn't had sex with her husband for 15 years and never will again after she underwent surgery to remove most of her vagina.
When she was a teenager, Natasha Owens, from Wirral, Merseyside, constantly felt hot and sweaty, and never started her period.
But because she had such a fear of being examined having been abused as a teenager, the 45-year-old said she was scared of going for a check-up.
It was only after she met her husband, Damien Owens, 49, when she was 25 that she decided to get medical help.
Natasha was told she had gone through the menopause when she was 13, meaning she would never be able to carry children.
Five years later, Natasha was diagnosed with severe erosive lichen planus, which is an incurable condition that causes painful ulcers to develop in the genital area.
After undergoing a hysterectomy in 2017 because her vagina was full of trapped blood, two years later, Natasha had to have a full vaginectomy, which left her with only 2cm of vagina left.
"I've had most of my vagina removed so it's not medically possible to have sex now," said Natasha.
"The bottom part of my vagina is the only bit intact, but it's corroded and stuck together.
"Now I have to have an operation to unstick it every 12 months.
"Going to the toilet can be painful and I can bleed.
"But it's just part of my life now."
The couple have now accepted they will never have sex again, and Natasha says her and Damien's relationship has 'never been stronger'.
The hairdresser said: "We just get on with it and it doesn't matter to him or me.
"He knows it's not that I don't want him but because I can't. I've got used to living without a vagina and I won't let it define me."
Looking back at the moment she was told she would never have children, Natasha, who has since adopted two siblings, says it was utterly heartbreaking.
"That was a bit of a blow, I didn't know that it was that horrendous," she said.
"I had done a bit of processing, but it was the final nail in the coffin when somebody finally says it.
"It was awful.
"I'm quite a resilient person and I just got on with it but just to hear it was difficult."
But after everything they have been through, Damien said he couldn't be prouder of his wife and that he will stand by her no matter what life throws at them.
"I love Natasha for her and not what she can give me," he said.
"We can sort everything out whatever comes our way. We made our vows in sickness and in health."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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