After failing to get pregnant despite a whole of trying, a 25-year-old woman got an unexpected diagnosis. It was discovered that she was born an intersex male.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Woman finds out that she was born an intersex male after 25 years of existence
- Unidentified genital organ: she is neither a man nor a woman
- What do medical experts say about her condition?
Woman finds out that she was born a man after seeing a doctor for an ankle problem
In eastern China, an unnamed 25-year-old woman just discovered that she was born an intersex male. She just found out her condition when she fails to conceive after a whole year of trying to get pregnant.
The woman lived her whole life thinking and knowing that she is entirely a woman. It was because she’s been living with external female genitalia. Never in her whole life had she considered the possibility that she could be anything other than a woman.
She only found out about her rare condition when she visited a physician. It was due to an ankle problem that she had been suffering. She went to the First Affiliated Hospital of College of Medicine at Zhejiang University.
The doctor had taken X-ray images of the woman’s injured ankle during her visit. Her physician was surprised to see that the woman’s bone had failed to develop past adolescence.
Because the condition is rare, the doctor asked some questions from the 25-year-old woman. That was when she admitted that never in her life did she experience having a menstrual period.
She ignored it as she was embarrassed to tell anyone that she was already in her mid-twenties but never once menstruated. The woman said that they tried consulting a doctor when she was younger. However, the doctor said that she was probably developing slower than others sexually.
“After I grew up, I found this issue quite embarrassing, so I didn’t treat it seriously,” she confessed.
What happened really frustrated her as she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for over the past 12 months. She was utterly unaware of her condition and never suspected that something was odd about her reproductive system.
The woman went through a lot of tests to clear things out about her situation. The woman was found to have a karyotype (an individuals collection of chromosomes) of 46,XY, which is a pattern usually found in males with undefinable genitalia resembling neither that of a male or female.
Unidentified genital organ: she is neither a woman nor a man
Image Source: Unsplash
After more than two decades of existence, she only found out that she had no uterus nor ovaries. She also does not have any male genitalia, hidden testes, or Adam’s apple.
Furthermore, the result of other tests she took came out. It revealed that she suffered from high blood pressure and low blood potassium. It is a symptom of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a disease linked to sexual development disorder.
After all that happened, the hospital said that her blood pressure and blood potassium level have been stabilized. However, the woman still cannot decide which gender she would want to identify with.
According to the doctor who assessed her, one factor that affected her condition was that her parents are closely related.
What do medical experts say about her condition?
Based on statistics, medical experts say that 1 out 1,500 to 2,000 children were born with noticeable atypical genitalia. However, there are cases in which such abnormalities are less observable. It only becomes apparent later in life if not early or immediately.
Meanwhile, according to the hospital’s Mental Health Center, it will take weeks, months, or even years before the woman rebuild her identity. The situation is not going to be easy for her because she just recently discovered this new information about her gender.
According to Hu Shaohua, the Mental Health Center’s deputy director,
“It takes a long time to rebuild the social role and reconstruct the family and it’s going to be a painstaking process, where psychological intervention is necessary.”
“They should have gone for check-ups years ago. This shows how seriously they lacked sexual knowledge,” he added as he emphasised the shortcomings of the woman’s parents.
The deputy director said that the woman’s family did not do enough to detect her condition earlier. Moreover, he also said that the 25-year-old woman’s case was just another reminder of China’s lack of solid sexual education.
Due to what happened, the country recently mandated schools to begin conducting a more age-appropriate sex education. They hope that through it, they could be able to avoid this kind of incident to happen in the future.
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