She fought the odds to become a mother, yet believes that a woman should not be restricted to the role of being a mother alone. In what is considered a medical breakthrough, the journey of Shraddha (name changed) is nothing less than a miracle. She was diagnosed with Swyer Syndrome in 2003 and was left shattered. A rare disorder that occurs once in 80,000 cases, the person carries male chromosomes but has a female body. This means, the person will be releasing XY chromosomes, although she has a female body. Another exception in the case is the woman has streak gonads (male glands), instead of ovaries.
Experts believe that the disorder cannot be detected unless puberty. In fact, there have been cases where it has gone undiagnosed without proper medical treatment. Moreover, many patients suffer in silence due to the stigma attached to such disorders in our society.
Dr Aviva Pinto Rodrigues, a fertility expert from the city, said, "Swyer syndrome is a type of chromosomal anomaly in which the person is externally female with streak gonads (male sex glands). Such gonads are typically surgically removed as they have a significant risk of developing tumours and the treatment include hormone replacement therapy."
Shraddha, speaking to the Bangalore Mirror said, "It was in 2003 that I was diagnosed with Swyer syndrome. It was a shattering experience for me and my family. But I refused to give in to the stigma attached to the female body in the society and decided to face it. I diverted my attention towards academics as I knew there is more to me apart from just being a woman as desired by the society.”
However, she did not give in to the societal norms and concentrated on making her own mark. She tasted first success when she topped her engineering college in 2006. She continued fighting the physical condition and learnt to accept her situation. Her second twist in fate came when she decided to undergo treatment for the disorder and was finally able to conceive through IVF. Shraddha is now a mother of a baby boy who is six months and ten days old. She says her baby is god's greatest gift, but maintains that being a mother is not the only role of a woman in the society.
Incidentally, in India, there have been 18 such cases where Swyer Syndrome-related pregnancy have been reported.