In a bizarre turn of events, a Kolkata woman found out that she’s actually a man and has testicular cancer

Sounds strange, we know! But this bizarre story of a woman in Kolkata actually has science behind it.
You might be a man and you don’t know it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 26 Jun 2020, 04:02 pm IST
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Imagine going to the hospital for a check-up and finding out that you’re not a woman, but a man. Not possible, right? Wrong! Because that’s exactly what happened to a woman from Kolkata.

According to a PTI news report, a woman who has been leading a normal life with no complications was recently told that she’s actually a man. And it all started when she sought consult for abdominal pain and found out that she testicular cancer. 

After 30 years, this Birbhum resident has found her real identity
Married for the last nine years, she sought medical expertise for severe pain in her lower abdomen a couple of months ago, following which clinical oncologist Dr Anupam Dutta and surgical oncologist Dr Soumen Das conducted her medical tests.

“From her appearance, she is a woman. Starting from her voice, developed breasts, normal external genitalia, everything is that of a woman. However, the uterus and ovaries have been absent since birth. She has also never experienced menstruation,” Dr Dutta told PTI.

He said:

It’s a very rare condition and can be found one in every 22,000 people.

The doctors found her testicles inside her body
“We conducted clinical examinations, after she complained of abdominal pain, and found out she has testicles inside her body. A biopsy was conducted, following which she was diagnosed with testicular cancer, also called seminoma,” Dr Dutta explains.

“As her testicles remained undeveloped inside the body, there was no secretion of testosterone. Her female hormones, on the other hand, gave her the appearance of a woman,” Dr Dutta stated.

Is this even possible?
It’s rare, but possible-all thanks to androgen insensitivity syndrome, which this woman was diagnosed with. In this condition, a person is born genetically male but has all the physical traits of a woman.

vaginal itching
This syndrome affects your genitals and reproductive functionality. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A Lancet report categorized this syndrome as a disorder of hormone resistance. It also suggests that androgen insensitivity syndrome can either be complete or partial.

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In complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, a female has breast development and a pubertal growth spurt at the appropriate age, but no menses.

Whereas in partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, there can be disorders of sex development presenting at birth or in adolescence.

Asked about her reaction to the revelation, the doctor said, “The person has grown up to be a woman. She has been married to a man for almost a decade. Currently, we are counselling the patient and her husband, advising them to continue living life as they have been.”

best time to conceive
Conceiving is a big trouble. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It was learnt that the couple had tried for a child a number of times but failed. The patient’s two maternal aunts have also been diagnosed with androgen insensitivity syndrome in the past, the oncologist said.

“It’s probably in the genes. We have come to know that two of her aunts from the maternal side were also suffering from similar conditions,” he concluded.

Currently, she is undergoing chemotherapy and her health condition is stable.

(With inputs from PTI)

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