After 33 years of identifying as a man, Chen Li, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, was told he is biologically female after having a chromosome analysis test. Chen, who comes from a small town in southwest China’s Sichuan province, had surgery to correct irregular urination during puberty. Since then, for more than 20 years, he had experienced recurrent blood in his urine. When Chen experienced abdominal discomfort that lasted for more than four hours, a doctor diagnosed him with appendicitis. However, even after treatment, the symptoms continued. It was only after a medical check-up last year that the true cause of his condition was revealed. Chen had female sex chromosomes. His monthly experience of blood in his urine and abdominal discomfort were actually caused by menstruation. Chen was shocked by the news and went to a Guangzhou hospital that treats genitalia issues. A subsequent medical examination revealed that he also had female reproductive organs including a uterus and ovaries. His levels of the male sex hormone androgen were below average, according to his check-up report. His levels of female sex hormones and ovarian activity, on the other hand, were comparable to those found in healthy adult women. Chen was ultimately identified as intersex, with both male and female reproductive organs. Woman in China went to doctor about a hurt ankle and told she is intersex After more than 30 years of identifying as a man, Chen found the outcome distressing and requested to have his female reproductive organs removed. He underwent a three-hour surgery on June 6 and was released from the hospital 10 days later. The surgeon, Luo Xiping, noted that the patient “was quickly at ease and his confidence was restored.” “From this point on, he can live his life as a man, but he cannot reproduce because his testicles cannot produce sperm,” Luo said. According to Luo, the condition, which can be discovered as early as in one’s adolescence, has little impact on a patient’s physical health, but frequently results in psychological trauma. In March last year, a 25-year-old woman in China, known only as Pingping, was found to have been born with male chromosomes after she visited a doctor with an ankle injury. She admitted that she had never had periods and had concealed this fact out of embarrassment. Luo said parents should carefully watch their children’s growth and development because an early diagnosis could result in less trauma for patients. The incident highlighted the need for immediate and improved sexual education in China, where educational institutions have had difficulty gaining traction on the issue. The term “sex education” was first introduced into Chinese law in 2020. In 2021, during the “Two Sessions”, annual plenary for making national-level political decisions, proposals regarding adding sex education in elementary and secondary education curricula were made. An article, published in August last year by the China Daily , a government-backed English-language publication in China, claimed that a sex education curriculum is still mostly absent from the country’s compulsory school system.