Lalita Salve works as a female constable at Beed in Maharashtra. She had been born with a medical condition known as pseudo hermaphroditism. Her external genital organ did not look like a penis, and she had to urinate in a sitting position.
Naturally, Lalita’s parents brought her up as a female. However, she always felt emotionally and psychologically like a male. In 2016, Dr Rajat Kapoor, who is a senior plastic surgeon at JJ Hospital, examined her.
Dr. Kapoor diagnosed her with gender dysphonia and prescribed sex reassignment surgery. Lalita was more than happy with this sex change operation solution – she was actually overjoyed. She had lived the life of a woman trapped in a male body for 29 years.
Finally, She was going to be free, thanks to the efforts of a competent plastic surgeon. The only thing that separated her from a new life was official permissions and pre-surgical tests.
Sex Development Disorders
Atypical or ambiguous genitalia brings a child’s gender into question at birth. The genital organs are underdeveloped and there is no clarity on male or female status.
Families undergo a lot of turmoil and even face social challenges due to such children.
Thankfully, Modern medical science has advanced very far. Competent surgeons like Dr Rajat Kapoor understand the scientific basis and they come up with ideal solutions.
Let us take a quick look at some of the sex or gender related facts for greater clarity –
- Human body cells have 46 chromosomes grouped into 23 pairs. The 23rd pair determines gender – XX is female, while XY is male.
- During pregnancy, The Y chromosome’s genes will play a major role. They determine the growth of testes, penis, scrotum, and urethra in a male child.
- Similarly, the female child develops ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Some type of hormones also have an effect on sexual organ development.
- Hormones, genes, and environmental factors create ambiguity in genitalia. The midwives and healthcare provider cannot determine gender at birth.
- Excessive male hormonal activity may give a girl child a small penis. Alternatively, A boy may have an abnormally small penis due to lack of hormones, like Lalita Salve.
- There are different causes or reasons for atypical genital problems such as:-
- Pseudo hermaphroditism in males – This is caused either by androgen insensitivity or deficiency in enzymes (5-alpha-reductase).
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) or overproduction of male hormones before birth result in female Pseudo hermaphroditism.
What Did Dr. Rajat Kapoor’s Team Do?
Dr. Kapoor performed a complete medical check-up on Lalita Salve. A sonography study was conducted to confirm the presence of male or female organs. She did not have breasts, vagina, or uterus. But testes which are essential parts of male reproductive system were present.
The plastic surgeon prescribed a pre-surgery evaluation followed by the sex reassignment procedure. Lalita could not secure permission from the authorities during the initial stages.
However, The Chief Minister intervened and a successful operation was conducted recently in May, 2018.
Dr Kapoor has reconstructed Lalita’s reproductive system and will continue to treat her for the next 6 months.