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Transgender and Intersex

Transgender people are people who experience a mismatch between their gender identity and their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transitionfrom one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender), third gender, or cross-dressers.
Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc., or they may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable.
The term “transgender” can also be distinguished from “intersex”. Intersex is a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics “that do not fit the typical description of male or female bodies”.
The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance, and accept their genuine identity is called “transgender cong-ruence”.
Many transgender people experience “gender dysphoria”. Gender dysphoria is the medical term used to describe people who experience significant distress with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. Some people with gender dysphoria seek medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, sex reassignment surgery, or psychotherapy. Not all transgender people desire these treatments, and some cannot undergo them for financial or medical reasons.
Transgender people face discrimination and unfair treatment in many cultures and situations.
So let’s talk about intersex! As an introduction; let’s discuss some embryology. Emryology is the science that studies the development of embryos and fetuses in the womb.

The external genitalia of males and females are undifferentiated at 4 and 6 weeks of pregnancy, and then start to differentiate at 10 weeks for males and 20 weeks for females. The final illustrations are the external genitalia at birth. It is important to realize that the same initial tissue makes up different structures in males and females.
Some people have different circumstances, that prevent them from developing along the same path that others do. The results of these developments may be “intersex individuals” who have sex characteristics of both males and females.
“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Let’s have a look at some images by dr. Frank Netter. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided, so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
Though we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until they reach the age of puberty, or find themselves infertile adults, or die of old age and are autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing.

Which variations of sexual anatomy count as intersex?
In practice, different people have different answers to that question. Imagine the sex spectrum as the color spectrum. There are different wavelengths that translate into colors most of us see as red, blue, orange, yellow. In the same way, nature presents us with sex anatomy spectrums. Breasts, penises, clitorises, scrotums, labia, gonads—all of these vary in size and shape.

The “sex” chromosomes can vary a lot, too. But in human cultures, sex categories get simplified into male, female, and sometimes intersex, in order to simplify social interactions.

So, nature doesn’t decide where the category of “male”,“intersex”, and “female” begin and end. Humans decide. Humans decide whether a person with XXY chromosomes or XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity will count as intersex.

There is no evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals are worse off psychologically, than those who are altered.

In fact, there is evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals do well psychologically. In other words, these surgeries happen before the age of assent or consent, are unnecessary. Parents often ask for these operations because they fear discrimination against their children.
“Ambiguous” genitalia are not diseased, nor do they cause disease; they just look “funny” to some uninformed people. And this no reason to cut a child’s body parts off. A better solution would be to increase the society’s awareness about intersex.

There is substantial evidence that people who have been treated under the “optimum gender of rearing” model have suffered harm, psychological and physical.

And parents consenting to intersex surgeries do not appear to be fully informed about the available evidence, about
1-alternatives available to them;
2-about the risks associated with surgeries,
3-or about the theoretical problems underlying the “optimum gender of rearing” approach.

For example, they are typically not told the evidence that gender identity may emerge to an important degree from prenatal hormonal actions on the brain—and thus, that you can’t “make” a child a maintain a particular gender identity in the long term by doing surgery on him or her in infancy.

The best way to be a better human is to learn something new about science every day. If we all accept each other with all our differnces, the world will be a much better place. Wishing you the best of health.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance- which would affect your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant, and it may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, diabetes and heart disease.
So why is it called polycystic ovary syndrome? Women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. The ovaries are “hormone factories”, and any problems in them would lead to hormone imbalances.
When hormones get out of balance in PCOs. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another, and so on.
Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making more male hormones. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
Also, due to the hormonal imbalance, the body may have a problem using insulin, called “insulin resistance”. Insulin is the hormone that makes the cells able to take up sugar for energy production. So, when the body doesn’t use insulin well, sugar levels will go up in the blood. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.
The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if your m other, sister, or maternal/paternal aunts have had it.
Symptoms vary. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
Acne.
Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair, especially on the chin, and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
Thinning hair on the scalp.
Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
Depression.
To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will: Ask questions about your health, do a physical exam, do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels. A pelvic ultrasound will be done to look for cysts on your ovaries.
So, what is the treatment of PCO?
The most important steps towards treating PCOS are: regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control. **Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity often. Walking and HIIT are great options here. **Eat heart-healthy foods. This includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods. **Losing 10 lb (4.5 kg) may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle. **If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms. **Your doctor also may prescribe medications to reduce symptoms, , help you have regular menstrual cycles, or fertility medicines if you are having trouble getting pregnant. But those medications will not be effective without a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure that treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible problems.
It may take a while for treatments to help with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. You can use over-the-counter or prescription medicines for acne.
It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS. But remember that with PCOS, you can change your whole health situation if you stick to a healthy lifestyle, so go for it! All the best.