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A man who went to the doctors after years of finding blood in his urine was shocked to discover that he had ovaries and a uterus.
Chen Li, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, was initally told he had appendicitis when he complained about pain in his abdomen.
But it turned out the 33-year-old from China was born intersex and despite having male genital organs, had female sex chromosomes.
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It meant the blood he was finding in his urine every month for 20 years was in fact caused by menstruation and his stomach pain was a result of his periods.
Chen, from a small town in the Sichuan province was distressed by the discovery after spending his whole life identifying as a man, and underwent a three-hour surgery last month to have the female reproductive organs removed at a specialist hospital.
Chen had below average levels of the male sex hormone androgen and his levels of female sex hormones were comparable to that of a healthy adult woman.
The surgeon who carried out the operation, Luo Xiping, told theSouth China Morning Postthat the patient “was quickly at ease and his confidence was restored [following the surgery].
“From this point on, he can live his life as a man, but he cannot reproduce because his testicles cannot produce sperm”.
Luo said that the condition is often discovered as early as someone’s teenage years. And whilst they had little impact on someone’s physical health, it could lead to psychological trauma, he claimed.
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.
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