Hermaphrodism is a condition of the reproductive system in which both male and female characteristics are present in it. Modern science knows examples of natural hermaphrodism : fungi, invertebrates, some plants. In humans, such a congenital phenomenon is considered abnormal and requires treatment.
What is hermaphrodism ?
Hermaphrodism in humans is a pathological change in the reproductive system, in which male and female organs are formed simultaneously. Most often, this phenomenon is caused by a genetic malfunction. Any change in the chromosome set leads to the fact that the sex glands are formed incorrectly.
In the normal state, the construction of the external genital organs occurs between 12 and 20 weeks of embryonic development. If there is a strong androgen deficiency, then in boys the organs retain the female state. An excess of androgens in girls’ bodies triggers the process of penile formation.
Hermaphrodism is laid even at the stage of conception. Chromosomal failure can occur under the influence of the following factors:
- Exposure to infections or toxic substances.
- Disruptions in the functioning of the hormonal system of the mother in early pregnancy.
Experts cannot accurately determine the cause of the development of hermaphrodism . The hereditary factor is not excluded.
What types of pathology are distinguished?
Hermaphrodism causes a person not only physical, but also psychological suffering. Experts distinguish two types of this pathology:
- True. It is characterized by the manifestation of internal signs of bisexuality. This form of the disease is extremely rare. A person develops two reproductive systems at once. Sometimes the ovaries and testicles fuse together.
- False. External signs of the opposite sex appear. This can be the formation of mammary glands in a man, a hypertrophied clitoris in women, and the like. With this pathology, the male genitals become outwardly similar to the female. There are violations in the construction of the urethra, penis, testicles and other organs. In women, the clitoris undergoes a change, it becomes like a penis.
True and false hermaphrodism in a person at an early age does not manifest itself in any way. This condition can only be detected through a thorough medical examination. Based on the results of the diagnosis, the specialist develops a treatment program.
How do hermaphrodites go to the toilet?
If a person externally manifests both male and female genital organs, then the question invariably arises of how bisexual people go to the toilet. It doesn’t really depend on the organs of the reproductive system. The process of urination is carried out using the urethra.
In any case, the urethra of a person suffering from hermaphrodism is one. Its location depends on which of their genitals is more developed. This is laid even at the stage of formation of the fetus in the womb.
Attitude towards hermaphrodites in society
In the Middle Ages, people with similar deviations were persecuted. They were persecuted with particular cruelty. It was believed that they entered into an agreement with the devil. During the Inquisition, many hermaphrodites were burned at the stake. Later, the attitude towards such people softened. But still they remained outcasts. Therefore, they had to hide their peculiarity from strangers by all means.
It is difficult to say for sure whether famous people existed hermaphrodites, since it was never advertised. One of the cases that got publicized was the scandal at the Olympics. Sisters Tamara and Irina Press won gold medals in 1964. They were going to repeat the winning performance next season.
Before the competition, it was announced that it was necessary to pass a gender test. After that, the sisters flatly refused to participate in the Olympics. According to sports doctors, this decision was caused by a desire to hide their hermaphrodism .
Basic principles of pathology treatment
After carrying out diagnostic measures, doctors develop a competent strategy for the treatment of pathology. It includes the following techniques:
- The use of hormonal drugs. Thyroid-stimulating and sex hormones are prescribed. At the same time, the reception of funds that affect the work of the pituitary gland, as well as glucocorticoids, is shown.
- Surgical intervention. The person must decide for himself what gender he wants to be. For this, a psychologist is involved. After the operation is shown. For men, the penis is enlarged and straightened, the testicles are moved into place in the scrotum, and the urethra is corrected. In women, the hypertrophied clitoris is removed, the labia are spliced, a full-fledged vagina is formed, and the urogenital sinus is corrected. After the operation, a course of medical rehabilitation therapy is shown.
If women have problems with excessive hair growth, it is solved by epilation. The prognosis of treatment is favorable. The adaptation of a person in society will depend on how correctly the gender was chosen.
Consequences and complications of hermaphrodism
Hermaphrodism in humans leads to dire consequences. In practice, there are only a few cases when such patients were able to acquire offspring. Most often they remain sterile. Other complications of pathology include:
- Transvestism. A person is constantly drawn to change into clothes unusual for his gender.
- Homosexuality is sexual attraction to members of the same gender.
- Bisexuality is the same attraction to both men and women.
- Problems with urination. This happens when the urethra is not properly located.
- Tumor processes in the testicles.
Hermaphrodism is a congenital pathology. Sometimes, even after successful treatment, a person fails to adapt to society. Parents of such a child are advised to conduct therapy as early as possible, and to constantly consult with a psychotherapist.