The 17-year-old, who has been nicknamed “Xiao Ming”, told doctors he desperately wanted to be a woman but did not have the money to get a sex change.
The teenager from Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong Province, is said to have drunk excessive amounts of alcohol in his home before he anaesthetised himself and removed both testicles.
The DIY surgery caused him to bleed profusely and his friend – who nurses described as a “cross-dressing boy” – rushed him to the Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University.
Urology physician Ma Po tended to the boy and said he arrived with his testicles and epididymis – the tubes connecting the male reproductive organ – already removed.
He was suffering from intense swelling and bleeding, and was wheeled into the operating theatre for what was ultimately life-saving surgery.
Director Wang Zhongyang, head of the facility’s urology department, said the boy kept repeating the phrase: “I don’t want to be a man; I want to be a woman.” The boy, who grew his hair long and also appeared to have taken on female characteristics, admitted to doctors that he had been shooting himself up with oestrogen in order to induce the sex change.
His decision to change genders did not go down well with his parents, with whom he has since lost all contact.
He received regular support from a group of 58 other young men online, all of whom want a sex change, but who “have no money for sexual reassignment surgery.” He stopped attending school in secondary school and had been working odd jobs in order to purchase medication such as oestrogen, which he started giving himself in March 2016.
He is now in stable condition after the operation, but medics said there was no way they would be able to reattach his severed testicles.
Director Wang said: “We respect the ideals and decisions of all patients, but I cannot emphasise enough how strongly I advise against self-administering oestrogen and performing surgery on oneself like the patient has done.” The medic noted that such DIY procedures carry extremely high risks, chief amongst which are infections and organ damage.
Reports did not say whether the unnamed boy’s parents visited him in hospital.