“When people started seeing it and asked, why is your clit0ris so big? It is then I realized mine was different,” these are the words of a 32-year-old hermaphrodite.
Depression, mockery and embarrassment are just a fragment of the trauma Pokuaa (not real name) went through growing up, having been born with two sɛx organs.
Not knowing her condition, she moved around in school freely, bathing and dressing among her colleagues, until fingers began to point at her with questions about her rather unusual sɛx organs.
“Before I wasn’t seeing people’s own and comparing it to mine but in SSS, you know we bath in the same bathroom, it was then that people started seeing it and asked,” she explained in an interview with GHOne TV.
Describing it as it were, Pokuaa said, “Let me use my thumb when you wake up in the morning or are watching a movie and having those funny feelings, they become erect.”
The stigma was unbearable, even beyond secondary school days, especially in her relationships with men. After several failed attempts to get help from medical experts and herbalists, she resorted to fasting and prayers, even with that, she was still unsuccessful.
“At a point in secondary school, I’ll be the first person to wake up and bath and after school I’ll bath first so that nobody will see me. When you go close to a man and you are trying to have sɛx, they ask you, ah, are you a man? It always puts them off and they never come back,” she said.
Adding, “A man will come into your life and he wants to go away and sometimes the way he’ll even say it, it always puts me off so I just said I won’t marry, no man will come into my life, I will be alone. Sometimes you can be in the room for three days, dry fasting, no food, no water, because of this. I could cry till I couldn’t even speak and I always asked God questions, God why me? I did a series of lab tests and they gave me medicines to suppress the hormones but I stopped taking after some time because it wasn’t working.”
Explaining the condition, Family Physician, Dr. Ntow Gyan, said there are surgical processes to be carried out to change the situation of such persons.
“It depends on which hormone gets the upper hand, depends so if you are a female dominant, you may have a female vagina, a bit of the clitoris and penis protruding but the vagina may not have an opening. It depends on which sɛx organs are predominant and which hormones are controlling. If you have the male hormones controlling, it means you’ll pass urine through your penis but bear in mind that the vagina and urethra are separate.”
After years of struggle, however, Pokua now lives freely after going through a corrective surgery to rectify the condition at a cost of GHC14,000.