An Iranian boy has been born without a penis, though he has his scrotum intact, and surgeons are planning to give him a vagina instead.
Due to his extraordinary defect, the boy urinates through his anus.
The unidentified boy’s condition is medically called aphallia. It is so rare, it is thought to only occur in up to one in 30million births.
Fewer than 100 cases have been documented in medical literature.
Aphallia occurs when genitalia fails to develop normally in the womb during the first few months of pregnancy.
It is a similar process that causes diphallia, where boys are born with two penises.
Medics who reported the case in the journal Radiology Case Reports said the boy was born normally in a “good general state”.
His mother, who also wasn’t named, reported no problems during her pregnancy.
Special tests carried out months after he was born allowed doctors to work out how his unique urinary system worked.
A special dye revealed a fistula, an abnormal connection between his bladder and his rectum.
Boys born without a penis are usually crafted one by surgeons in a procedure known as a phalloplasty. They can also be given a urethra, with doctors connecting their urinary system together again.
However, in this infant’s case, medics controversially said the recommended treatment is gender reassignment and feminisation surgery to create a fake vagina.
They also recommend oestrogen therapy during puberty to repress changes in his body such as the development of facial hair and the deepening of the voice to conform to his new gender.
The medics at Zahedan University of Medical Sciences did not state if the boy was going to get feminisation surgery, however.
Boys born with aphallia are also known as intersex. Scientists don’t know what triggers aphallia to happen in the womb.