Civic-run KEM and Nair hospital has recorded 28 intersex births each. While state-run Sir JJ Group of Hospitals witnessed two intersex birth in the past two years, the Sion hospital witnesses 3-4 intersex birth every year.
A person born with characteristics of both male and female reproductive organs is termed as intersex.
Intersex is a condition in which, due to various genetic and congenital factors, the baby cannot be termed as male or female. E
Experts say that one in 2,000 births is likely to be born with this condition.
A child born with this condition cannot fit the definition of a male and a female.
When a baby is born, we can identify the gender of the baby with their sex. But, what if a baby is born with characteristics of male and female, in medical terms, such baby is called as intersex. Intersex is also known as a disorder of sexual development.
What causes intersex birth?
There are various internal and the external factors which can influence intersex births.
Congenital Adrenal hyperplasia: In which women have ambiguous genitalia by birth or men have an enlarged penis.
Male hormone producing tumour in a mother.
Problems with testes: Testes normally produce male hormones. If they are not formed properly, it will lead to undervirilisation.
Problem with testosterone (hormone) formation
True gonadal intersex and various other factors.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Asha Dalal, a gynaecologist, earlier associated with Nair Hospital, said, “Due to various genetic factors, both, male and female genes grow simultaneously in the body. Due to which, one cannot define a child as male or female. If a child has both the organs we call the child as intersex. Generally, people are not aware of this condition. If a baby is born intersex, then we have to counsel the parents and relatives.”
Dr Dalal added, “Every case is different. We have to understand the issues and work accordingly. There is a difference between an intersex child and a sex reassignment surgery. Those born with an inborn intersex condition, have both male and female organs due to various factors.”
While Dr Ashok Anand, Head of Gynaecology department of Mumbai’s Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, said, “Intersex birth can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. I witnessed two such cases in JJ hospital in last two years. The child is born with both male and female reproductive organs. We need to spread awareness about the term intersex among the parents, as people are not aware of the condition.”
Intersex births in KEM and Nair Hospital
Year KEM Nair
2011 2 3
2012 2 4
2013 3 3
2014 8 3
2015 5 4
2016 6 5
2017 2 6