Iranian boy born WITHOUT penis: Baby has intact scrotum but urinates out of anus in 1 in 30 million medical malformation
- The doctors were shocked to discover that the boy had been born without a penis
- His mother had experienced a normal pregnancy without complications
- Despite his lack of a penis, he had normal testicles and no female genitalia
An Iranian boy has been born without a penis – and surgeons controversially want to create a vagina for him instead.
The unidentified boy’s condition, medically called aphallia, is so rare that it is thought to occur in only up to one in 30 million births.
Fewer than 100 cases have been documented in the medical literature.
The boy, who was 14 months old when his case was published in a journal, still had an intact scrotum and two testicles.
This photo shows the boy’s urinary tract after he was given a rectal enema with a special dye that would be highlighted on a scan. It shows how the connection between his bladder and his rectum
Yet he urinated through his anus as a result of his extraordinary defect.
Aphallia occurs when the genitals do not develop normally in the womb during the first few months of pregnancy.
It is a similar process that causes diphallia, where boys are born with two penises.
Doctors who reported the case in the medical record Radiological case reports said the boy was born normally in a ‘good general condition’.
His mother, who was also not named, reported no problems during her pregnancy.
Special tests carried out months after he was born allowed doctors to find out how his unique urinary system worked.
A special dye revealed a fistula, an abnormal connection between his bladder and his rectum.
Surgeons today make boys born with aphallia a penis in a procedure known as a phalloplasty.
Aphallia is an incredibly rare condition, occurring in only one in every 10-30 million births
They may also get a urethral tube, where doctors reconnect their urinary tract.
But in this case doctors said controversially the recommended treatment is sex reassignment and feminization surgery to create a pseudo-vagina.
They also recommend estrogen therapy during puberty to suppress changes in his body, such as developing facial hair and deepening his voice to accommodate his new sex.
While this has historically been how afali has been treated, with the boys then being raised as girls, intersex and DSD charities have criticized this approach as usually driven by societal expectations of sex and gender, not by a medical cause.
However, the doctors at Zahedan University of Medical Sciences did not say whether the boy should have feminization surgery.
Boys born with aphallia are also known as intersex.
It has been estimated that aphallia occurs in only one in every 10-30 million births.
However, some experts believe that cases are underreported due to social stigma surrounding the condition in some parts of the world.
Scientists don’t know what triggers aphallia to happen in the womb.
What is afalli and what happens to those with the condition?
Aphallia is the name for an extremely rare condition in which a boy is born without a penis.
How does it happen?
Experts don’t know what causes it, but it occurs in the womb while the fetus is developing its urinary system and genitals.
Something goes wrong in this process and causes afalli.
How do people with aphalli urinate?
Sometimes a hole appears in the perineum from which the boy can urinate.
In other cases, the bladder can be connected to the rectum and the urine passes out of the anus.
How is it treated?
Each case is individual with the malformation resulting in aphallia sometimes affecting kidney function.
Boys with aphallia are sometimes given feminization surgery and raised as girls, although this is controversial as it is generally done due to social expectations, not medical reasons.
Can people with aphalli have children?
This depends on whether their testicles developed properly and whether they were not removed as part of the feminization surgery.
Thanks to IVF technology, it is technically possible for people with aphali to have children if their sperm can be extracted.