Man finds out he can also get pregnant

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by Tiffany Daniel

A businessman in Britain has received international attention for being the only known man on earth to have a womb in conjunction with normal male organs.   Duane Walters is 37-years old and is set to become the first male in history to undergo a hysterectomy.

Doctors first thought he had cancer, but it turns out that it’s something far stranger and more interesting than care providers originally thought.  The doctors are now planning to give him the hysterectomy with the concern that he could then end up in menopause.  They aren’t sure what to expect at that point.

The condition comes from an extremely rare genetic disorder called Persistent Mullerian duct syndrome (PMDS).  Walters was once anonymous, but has now decided to speak to the press about his troubling experience.   He says that he’s always had a dull ache after having intercourse, but doctors told him that it was nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t until doctors took a closer look that they realized that Walters has a fully-functioning uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries.  He and his wife Katie Morris are speaking to the media about their situation in order to raise awareness about the difficult condition.

The two live in the city of Lancashire, and have been trying to have a baby for two years.   It turns out that Walters will never be the father of the couple’s children, at least not biologically.  This has left the two devastated.

Doctors tested Walters for bladder cancer after finding blood in his urine, which he suffered from on numerous occasions.  The couple had a difficult time telling their loved ones, but they’ve been extremely supportive.

“I’ve only told a handful close friends but everyone has been very supportive. Telling my mum was the worst thing. She just cried. It is so hard to understand,” he said.  

“But ultimately we have all taken comfort from the fact I am not dying and at least now I hopefully have the chance to become a dad.”

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Duane’s wife is going to stand by him no matter what.  They plan to ride this out together.

PMDS is a rare genetic disorder which occurs when the body fails to produce or respond to certain hormones while developing during pregnancy.  Duane says that he’s had blood in his urine since his teenage years, and now realizes that it could have been his monthly menstrual cycle.   Because he has ovaries, it appears that he may have been producing eggs all along and could have gotten pregnant (not the normal way, of course).

The day the couple found out what was going on, he was worried it could be something worse.

“So when he said I should sit down as he had something to tell me, I was shaking. I replied, “Am I going to die?’. I was convinced it was cancer,” he said. 

“But then he said, ‘No, but I am going to tell you something it’s going to be hard to get your head around.'”

“He then went on to explain the scan had located a fully functioning uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and I even had a cervix. He struggled to fully explain it. He said he was an experienced doctor but in his whole career he’d never seen anything like it.”

13 Comments

  1. Since all embryo start out female, it’s not a stretch to realize that lots of abnormalities occur in utero. Not enough of this or too much of that can give rise to this kind of occurrence. SHIT HAPPENS

  2. I didn’t see any mention of testes. And since it was said that he would never father children, I’m assuming he has none. So in other words, he was born female with an enlarged clitoris. As a result his gender mus-identifired and he was raised as a male.

    • First line –

      A businessman in Britain has received international attention for being the only known man on earth to have a womb in conjunction with normal male organs

      He’s a guy. Not because of his genitalia though, but because of his brain. Male and female brains differ in minor but important ways, leading to gender identity forming as the result.

      How do you know what sex an Intersex child is? Wait till about age 5, and ask them. That’s more accurate than any other test.

      Maybe this might help explain:

      Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35
      The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation..

      Incidentally – this means that trans women are girls born looking like boys, and trans men (like Chaz Bono) boys born looking like girls.

      That’s a pretty awful situation to be in. The persecution they face should they do something about it and transition, aligning appearance with neural anatomy, doesn’t help either.

  3. He’s not even remotely the first or only. About 200 children in the UK, and 1000 in the US are born with PMDS every year.

    One of the problems Intersex people have is that every time a case like this is reported in a tabloid – as it has been many times over the years – it’s usually described as “the first ever” or “unique” and sensationalised.

    No, it’s not “one in a billion”. Or even “one in a million”. PMDS is pretty rare, but there a thousands of people with it, some male, some female.

    As for parenthood – he might be able to become a father by punch biopsy of the testes, and dissection of the few viable sperm for IVF. As has happened in some previous cases. An alternate – though less likely – is to donate an egg for his wife to bear. Perhaps neither is possible, I don’t know, and it’s an invasion of privacy to ask unless the information is offered.

    Intersex people get the same (pardon my language) crap that trans people get, plus additional medical problems. Sometimes it seems conservative legislators go out of their way to make life difficult for us, as our existence goes against their religious beliefs.

    But we exist anyway. Some of us try to educate, via comments on websites, lectures to students, and so on.

  4. Never heard of that before. But since it seems to be happening in the UK, could it be environmental? I was thinking it was an unborn twin inside him but it’s not.

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