The presence of a urethra coursing through the phallus would seem to be evidence of maleness. However, certain female patients with intersexual external genitalia (female pseudohermaphrodites) have been observed either with a single urethra running through the clitoris or with this, plus a second urethra, emptying into the urogenital sinus. Recently, five cases of phallic urethra have been observed and the findings of one other unreported case has been studied. These will be presented and discussed in detail in order to point out the factors involved in differential diagnosis.
The study of intersexuality would be more rewarding if it could be approached from an etiological standpoint. In any given case, however, exact etiologic factors cannot always be determined, but if consideration is given to each of the possible causes (developmental anomaly, fetal adrenal hyperplasia, and exogenous androgens) a reasonable basis can be constructed for diagnosis and treatment.
Theoretically, intersexuality with
REILLY WA, HINMAN F, PICKERING DE, CRANE JT. Phallic Urethra in Female Pseudohermaphroditism. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(1):9–17. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050011002