The habit of “tucking” testicles caused a transgender woman to have a testicle surgically removed in Philippines. This practice of “tucking” has been made pupular by Internationally-famous TV Show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is a talent reality show which searches for “America’s next drag superstar!”
The transgender woman is a 24-year old in the Philippines who has not fully gone through gender reassignment surgery. The person was a cross-dresser who had the habit of pushing her testicles back into her stomach four times a week ever since becoming an adult, in an effort to hide her genitals. This habit, which is known as “tucking”, often caused pain but was ignored by the person.
However, when pulling her testicles back down into her scrotum during her final attempt, one of them twisted around the cord it dangles from.
This gruesome accident is known as testicular torsion. The transgender woman was left in enormous pain because of the injury, which also cut off the blood flow to her genitals. A prolonged lack of blood supply can lead to the death of testicles, causing them to be removed.
“Tucking” is a common practice in transgender and drag communities, popularized by the American reality show VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. Trinity ‘The Tuck’ Taylor, a contestant from the show’s ninth season, has a video guide on how to “tuck” on YouTube, which warns of the dangers of testicular torsion towards the end.
The transgender woman was admitted at the Brokenshire Integrated Health Ministries in Davao City after her horrifying injury. It was told to the doctors that she regularly tucked her testicles into her inguinal canals, which are passages in the abdomen that hold the sperm cords.
The case of this particular transgender woman was published in a medical journal where Dr Calrence Debarbo made his observations. His observations revealed that the patient would tuck her penis and empty scrotum back between her legs. In order to return her testicles back to their normal position afterwards, she would tug them back out of her body by grabbing her scrotum and pulling.
“The patient already experienced discomfort and pain for six years because of tucking, which is also the same with other transgenders. But they are reluctant to seek medical care for testicular complaints and when they do, it may be already late to salvage the testis,” he said
‘Although at a younger age, trans women desire to hide their testicles or wish to have gender-affirming surgery, as they grow older many transgender individuals desire to have biological children, thus awareness of the problem should be disseminated for them not to resent in years to come,’ the doctor added.
The transgender woman had initially requested to have both her testicles removed. But an hour after being informed the life-altering decision would prevent her ever from having children, she decided instead to just lose one.
Upon operating, surgeons found that the testicle had been damaged by years of “tucking” and removed it. The surgery went smoothly without any complications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum. The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling. Testicular torsion is most common between ages 12 and 18, but it can occur at any age, even before birth.
Testicular torsion usually requires emergency surgery. If treated quickly, the testicle can usually be saved. But when blood flow has been cut off for too long, a testicle might become so badly damaged that it has to be removed.