• Question: Can hermaphrodites create their own children e.g if the person should have testes, ovaries and a womb etc, (all the parts to produce) :) Thank Youuu :)

    Asked by joshuageorge to Aime, Akshat, Diana, Gemma, Judith on 18 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Gemma Sharp

      Gemma Sharp answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Good question! The sort of intersex condition you’re talking about is called ‘true hermaphroditism’ because the individual will have testicular AND ovarian tissue.

      I don’t think they would be able to self-fertilise, because either their testicular tissue or their ovarian tissue wouldn’t function normally… i.e. they either wouldn’t produce sperm or they wouldn’t produce eggs and menstruate. There aren’t any cases of true hermaphrodites with both functioning ovaries and testes as far as I know.

      In fact, in most cases neither tissues would function properly and they would be completely infertile. There have been cases (less than 15 I’d say) when true hermaphrodites HAVE got pregnant, but the sperm has come from another person.

    • Photo: Akshat Rathi

      Akshat Rathi answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      Interesting question. Nice answer gemma.

    • Photo: Judith McCann

      Judith McCann answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      It think if they could they probably shouldn’t since the babys DNA from sperm and egg would come from the same place-there are lot of health risks for incestuous babies (where the parents are related) and this case would be far more severe!!