Hermaphroditism



Hermaphroditism is a very rare condition in which the person has both ovarian and testicular tissue occurring together. The appearance of the external genitals varies greatly, and the persons have a problem for life. With more recent methods of studying chromosomal anomalies today, many have been found to have aberrations. In some it seems there has been a double fertilization of the ovum by two sperms, one giving female attributes and the other male ones, so producing a final ambiguous picture.

Hermaphroditism Treatment

This depends on how the child was originally brought up, and there is considerable feeling that whatever this has been should be continued. In recent years this has been an emotive topic.



Many teenage girls may fail to menstruate, or normal periods may suddenly cease. This may be due to excessive hormonal production preventing normal monthly ovulation, as well as obsessively over exercising. It may affect one in 20 among young ballet dancers and athletes.

Fortunately, when the vigorous sports are reduced, in most cases ovulation (and normal menstrual periods and the chances of pregnancy) returns to normal levels. This may be a worrying time for many young people. If continuing indefinitely (as with estrogen lack in the blood), calcium may be drawn from the bones, causing osteoporosis, with the high risk of fractures common in older postmenopausal women. It needs careful evaluation.



Two related conditions called female and male pseudohermaphroditism show that genetically a person with a female type chromosomal structure has varying degrees of masculinisation, and vice versa. In women, corticosteroids are used. In males, as there is a high risk of cancer developing in the testes, they may be removed, and plastic surgery carried out (with appropriate prosthetics). Testosterone is given to increase maleness.