• Sat
  • Nov 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:56am
NewsHong Kong
MEDICAL

Man, 66, goes to doctor and finds he's a woman

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 June, 2013, 10:47am
 

A 66-year-old apparently male patient made a stunning discovery when he sought treatment for swelling in his abdomen. The swelling was a cyst on his ovary and he was in fact a woman.

The condition was caused by a very rare combination of two genetic disorders. One, Turner syndrome, causes women to lack some female features, including the ability to get pregnant.

Sufferers usually look like women, but in this case the patient also had congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which boosted the male hormones and made the patient look like a man.

The case was reported by doctors from Kwong Wah Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, who treated the patient. It was published in the Hong Kong Medical Journal yesterday.

"The patient, by definition, is a woman who cannot get pregnant. But she also has CAH, which gave her the appearance of a man," Chinese University paediatrics professor Ellis Hon Kam-lun said. "It's an interesting and very rare case of having the two combinations. It probably won't be seen again in the near future."

The 66-year-old Vietnam-born Chinese man is an orphan. He has a beard, small penis and no testes. Just 1.37 metres tall, he has decided to continue perceiving himself as a male and may receive male hormone treatment, the report said.

When pressed, he disclosed a long history of urinary leakage and arrest of growth after puberty at the age of 10.

Only six cases of a patient with both conditions have been reported in medical literature. This patient was diagnosed later in life than any of the others.

Turner's syndrome has an estimated prevalence of one in 2,500 to 3,000 females.

Normal females have a pair of X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y.

Turner syndrome patients have only one X. They usually had the appearance of girls and the condition was identified when they reached puberty and did not menstruate, Hon said.

Private gynaecologist Dr Kun Ka-yan said Turner syndrome was rarer now as most sufferers were identified in prenatal tests. Women would usually choose an abortion as the disease can bring other health problems, including mental disability.

 

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15

This article is now closed to comments

Sticks Evans
So did this man have any privacy rights?
Sticks Evans
Hope so. They give his race and lots of details. Hope he was informed about the use of his medical information and signed off on every aspect of his information.
mcheung
Advancement of Science to allow this discovery!
himanshu.charlie
This story is not all accurate about Turner's syndrome. It is NOT always associated with mental illness. There may be some learning issues on occasion, but the mental illness comment is incredabily incorrect...what a horrible reason for abortion! But this is China. There are different varieties of Turner's too. It is not as uncommon as it seems. I have a beautiful daughter who has 2 children and one would never know
jadzia626
This has to be the most ignorant text I've seen in a long time about an intersex person. He clearly see himself as a man, and that's what he is. There is no definition that suddenly makes him a woman just because he has a medical condition. Calling him "she" and "her" when he clearly doesn't see himself that way is incredibly rude and insensitive.
skip.nordenholz
To call him simply a woman is a bit simplistic. Birds use different gene to mammals which determine their sex directly, you can get Chimera birds which are male in some parts of the body and female in other parts. For mammal the sex is determines by hormone release, which is usually controlled by genes, but if some reason that doesn't work out you can't say that a person is the sex of the genes, it is the hormones that determine sex in mammals not genes. There are cases of women with xy chromosomes but because of some development issues their developments has been driven by female hormones not male.
mankydanky
Takes some balls to be a woman.
franchin
Pity that it took so many years for him to understand what happened in his life.
SteveFraser
Scientifically, (S)He is a SHE. On the personal level, (S)He is a HE. I just hope this person would get assistance from the local govt and (S)He would not be discriminated in public. (S)He needs all the support available for him/her. More power!
my2dogsloveme
This story is not all accurate about Turner's syndrome. It is NOT always associated with mental illness. There may be some learning issues on occasion, but the mental illness comment is incredabily incorrect...what a horrible reason for abortion! But this is China. There are different varieties of Turner's too. It is not as uncommon as it seems. I have a beautiful daughter who has 2 children and one would never know.

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