So,what’s a girl like you doing in a…

06Oct07

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To fuel my current fascination for all things medical, I’ve been on a House marathon of sorts. In less than a week, I’ve managed to watch over 35 episodes of the 45 minute medical drama. Sure most of the jargon manages to fly by but I’ve come to a point where I can tell the difference between Vasculitis and Pericardiitis. Not really, but still.

But the episode Skin Deep from Season 2 had me utterly speechless for a couple of hours. A 15 year old female supermodel gets admitted after blacking out on the ramp. After a series of differential diagnoses, the doctors think she may have a psychological condition resulting from abuse. However, after an MRI of her pelvic area, House concludes she has a tumor on her testes.

Yes, testes. Apparently the patient had male Pseudohermaphroditism.

Genital and gonadal sex determinations are discordant in cases of pseudohermaphroditism e.g. an apparently female individual may have testes (a male pseudohermaphrodite).

There are two main causes of pseudohermaphroditism:

  • genetic causes e.g. testicular feminisation
  • teratogenic e.g. in utero exposure of a female to androgens

House goes on to explain that the she was really supposed to be a he whose genitals just didn’t drop. According to our man House, this actually happens to about 1 in 150,000 fetuses.

So next time you see a pretty girl, mull this over.

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9 Responses to “So,what’s a girl like you doing in a…”

  1. 1 Alexalynn

    i believe most of them have conflicting issues with their bodies because they do feel different, there’s hormonal issues, and pscyhological too. it’s hard life if one is “trapped” in the wrong body.

  2. I don’t know…I kind of felt sad after reading this..It must be really weird to be trapped in the wrong body and have to pretend to be what you are not…

  3. lol, yes, I remember this episode. See, it’s shock value, and it’s entertainment. So they do pick unusual rare cases and of course Hollywood it.

    I know, am not supposed to ‘lol’ but these days am acting quite removed from emotion while pertaining to House. It’s the doc’s cap I suppose I don…

    Sarah: I doubt this particular patient knew it. she didn’t. She developed female parts, she’s a female in all regards.

  4. 4 Michelle

    House is one of my favorite medical shows. I’ve been getting addicted to Private Practice too. I wonder if all of these stories that are featured on House are true?

  5. 5 bApHoMEt

    @all: i still havent seen a single episode of House. and everytime i read about it, i feel i must. and i love Hugh Laurie in Black Adder.

    does Pseudohermaphroditism happen to Malayalees…er…Indians too?

  6. @Alexalynn and Sarah: I didn’t mean to startle or upset anyone but this was one of the weirdest deductions on House and trust me, the competition wasn’t less weird in any way!

    @Rads Yup…after House, I’ve been able to look at most ailments with a very detached perspective…almost clinical. 🙂

    @Michelle Well the ones I checked…seem to be real.

    @Baphomet Watch the show…Hugh Laurie is brilliant and it’s also one of the most addictive shows on TV.

    As for Indians exhibiting Pseudohermaphroditism…who knows? Scary thought eh…:-)

  7. 7 bApHoMEt

    @Pres: yep scary thought. i actually do have some people in mind. to say another word would incite your wrath upon me. thus i refrain.

  8. 8 Swen

    I had seen this episode on TV. Had me spooked for a while too.

  9. 9 cendrelin

    oh..there was a similar case a sometime back on ‘grey’s anatomy’ too…


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