Monday, 25 July 2011

The medical condition / CAH

When Lisa-Lee was born doctors believed that she was male, she never found out that she was a fully functioning female until the age of 19. This is because Lisa-Lee was born with the rare inter-sex medical condition called, 'Congenital adrenal hyperplasia' (CAH).

The condition called 'congenital adrenal hyperplasia' (CAH), leads to an exessive outpouring of the male hormone testosterone during the early part of foetal life; while the genes are thoroughly xx female, an inherited faulty gene blocks production of an essential enzyme. The deficiency leads to upsets in the body's hormone balance and causes the adrenal glands to produce low levels of cortisol, the stress hormone; in response, the pituitary (the body's conductor gland) pushes the adrenals into top gear to make more cortisol, because of the enzyme deficiency, they secrete more and more testosterone and in the most severe cases, like Lisa-Lee's, the hormone leads to fusion of the female genitalia and in some an enlarged clitoris, making it quite easy to mistake new born girls for boys, though ovaries and womb remain intact, making it possible for Lisa-Lee to have children of her own. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a disorder that affects one in 15,000 births world wide, with varying degrees of masculinisation.

What this means in a more simple way is, while Lisa-Lee was in her mothers womb, she was over exposed to the male hormone testosterone, this resulted in her female genitalia being fused and enlarged, so it looked like a male penis, this is why doctors believed that Lisa-Lee was male, and why she grew up believing this herself.

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