A 1-year-old boy in India has captured international attention after doctors revealed he has the sexual organs of an adult man.
Doctors diagnosed the baby, who is known under the pseudonym Vaibhav, with an unusual condition called precocious or early puberty, the Hindustan Times reports.
“It is a rare case that happens once in 10 odd years," said Dr. Vaishakhi Rustagi, who is treating Vaibhav at a Delhi hospital. "Precocious puberty is traumatic for a child of his age. The baby can’t express his feelings or understand what his happening to him, while his parents are left confused.”
Vaibhav’s parents said they noticed their baby’s unusual physical changes when he was 6 months old.
“We thought maybe he was just a big baby, so we did not take him to the doctor," said the baby’s mother. "But by the time he was one, it was apparent there was something wrong. My mother-in-law, who has taken care of several children in the family, also said that his growth seemed unnatural. That is when we took him to the doctor.”
By the time he was diagnosed, the baby was 18 months old. At that point, his voice was already breaking and he had body and facial hair.
More disturbingly for his parents, his sexual organs were fully developed.
“His testosterone levels were exceptionally high, as high as that of a 25-year-old, because of which he had started experiencing physical changes. Since he was so young, he was not able to understand what was happening. He would experience sexual urges too,” said Rustagi.
Since then, doctors have been using hormone therapy on the baby. Injections are administered to try to slow down the hormones.
They will increase as he gets older until he is at the appropriate age for such sexual development.
“If such children are not treated, they will become violent. The physical changes will not be suitable for their age. They will also stop growing after a few years and remain about 3 to 4 feet tall,” Rustagi said.
Mayo Clinic notes the condition can also affect the child's emotional development.
“Girls and boys who begin puberty long before their peers may be extremely self-conscious about the changes occurring in their bodies. This may affect self-esteem and increase the risk of depression or substance abuse,” the clinic writes.