Gemma Collins has revealed she was advised to terminate a pregnancy after learning her unborn baby was intersex.

Speaking during a candid interview on the new Everything I Know About Me podcast, the former TOWIE star broke down in tears as she claimed doctors advised her to end the pregnancy when she was in her twenties.  

‘Hermaphrodite’ is a term that is no longer used because it to be deemed misleading and stigmatising. Instead, intersex, is the correct medical definition for an organism that produces both male and female reproductive organs.

The condition of being ‘Intersex’ affects one in every 2,000 births in the UK (although figures may be much higher) and there are an estimated 30,000 intersex people in the UK.

In the first two episodes of Everything I Know About Me, Gemma also shares insight into her childhood growing up in Essex, candidly detailing the bullying she endured at school. 

The former TOWIE star also opens up on her struggles with self-harming during her teenage years, detailing how she would take slimming pills when she was just 13 years old after facing cruel jibes about her weight.

Listen to our shocking interview with Gemma Collins on our podcast, Everything I Know About Me:

Gemma Collins has revealed she was advised to terminate a pregnancy after learning her unborn baby was a 'hermaphrodite' - [the correct term is intersex]

Gemma Collins has revealed she was advised to terminate a pregnancy after learning her unborn baby was a ‘hermaphrodite’ – [the correct term is intersex]

Gemma has been open about past fertility struggles and has previously suffered three miscarriages

She suffered her first heartbreaking loss in 2012, finding the strength to speak out about it publicly eight years later in 2020. 

The reality star did not realise she was pregnant at the time, said that the baby ‘died in front of her’ after giving birth at home on her landing.

Gemma suffered her second pregnancy loss in 2020 during the Covid pandemic. 

Tragically, just a few months later, Gemma endured a third devastating miscarriage in July 2020 after falling pregnant with her ex-boyfriend James Argent’s baby. 

In a poignant essay at the time, Gemma detailed the beginning of her miscarriage and said she had no idea she was pregnant with on-off boyfriend Arg’s baby, before she started experiencing sharp cramps one morning.

The reality star said she had dismissed the pains as a heavy period, and tried to push on through the excruciating pain, before her sister forced her to visit her doctor.

After being sent to hospital, Gemma was given the tragic news that she had suffered a miscarriage.

Speaking during a candid interview on the new Everything I Know About Me podcast, the TOWIE star broke down in tears as she revealed doctors advised her to end her pregnancy

Speaking during a candid interview on the new Everything I Know About Me podcast, the TOWIE star broke down in tears as she revealed doctors advised her to end her pregnancy

Gemma revealed earlier this year she was praying for a baby with her fiancé Rami Hawash. She is stepmother to his son Tristan, five

Gemma revealed earlier this year she was praying for a baby with her fiancé Rami Hawash. She is stepmother to his son Tristan, five

Gemma suffered a third devastating miscarriage in July 2020 after falling pregnant with her ex-boyfriend James Argent 's baby (pictured together in 2019)

 Gemma suffered a third devastating miscarriage in July 2020 after falling pregnant with her ex-boyfriend James Argent ‘s baby (pictured together in 2019) 

What is an intersex baby?

Intersex is an umbrella term for multiple of conditions that mean a person’s sexual anatomy is different than most other people’s.

Also called ‘differences in sex development’ (DSD) these are rare conditions that develop in the womb.

They are normally spotted at birth but can occasionally only come to light later in life during puberty.

They involve a combination of genes, hormones and the layout and appearance of reproductive anatomy like the genitals.

For example, a girl might be born with a long clitoris but a closed vagina due to a hormonal condition.

In other cases, a boy may be born with a penis but have a womb and internal, rather regular external, testicles.

Some of these traits are linked to having extra chromosome like Klinefelter syndrome.

There is some evidence that some DSDs can run in families but in most cases, there is no obvious cause.

Intersex people have sometimes been called hermaphrodites, in reference to a half-man half-woman mythical figure from Greek mythology called Hermaphroditus.

Intersex charities say the term should be avoided as it misleading, scientifically inaccurate for the variety of conditions covered by DSDs and stigmatising.

People with DSDs have sometimes been subjected to shocking medical treatment.

So-called ‘corrective surgeries’ were sometimes used to ‘fix’ babies’ genitalia to better match one sex.

For example, male babies born without a penis, a DSD called aphallia, have sometimes been subjected to ‘feminisation surgery’ to create an artificial vagina.

This has resulted, historically, in people being raised as girls only to grow facial hair and a deeper voice when their male puberty starts.

DSD charities have also criticised this ‘corrective ‘approach as it usually driven by societal expectations rather than medical benefit for the patient.

People with very specific DSDs do need medical care however, as there can be knock-on effects to other aspects of their health.

However, the vast majority do not need any medical attention.

How common DSDs are vary by type, with more than 40 individual conditions covered by the term.

A rough estimate is that 1.7 per cent of the population, about one in 50 people are born with a type of DSD.

That’s equivalent to about 114,000 people in the UK.

She said: ‘In a single instant, I learned that I’d been carrying a baby and lost it, meaning that once again I found my longstanding dreams of motherhood shattered into pieces.’

Gemma refuses to give up on her dream of becoming a mother and that she thinks about the miscarriage ‘every day.’ 

She previously detailed her battle with polycystic ovary syndrome battle (PCOS) which can affect fertility. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity.

Earlier this year she was praying for a baby with her fiancé Rami Hawash. She is stepmother to his son Tristan, five. 

Gemma recently said she was pleased to hear that Tana Ramsay had welcomed her sixth child at the age of 49, giving her hope that she, too, can conceive in her 40s.

She told MailOnline: ‘The Tana Ramsay news was the greatest thing to wake up to. Incredible.

‘It really made me think positively about my future and kind of took the pressure off. I don’t think anyone knew she was pregnant, so it was a lovely surprise, but I got butterflies in my stomach when I saw it.

‘This is amazing news for me. I’m starting my fertility journey within the next couple of weeks. I’m going to a clinic so watch these cards and get ready for me, honey.’

Gemma previously revealed she would wait until her 50s to try for a baby, having been inspired by supermodel Naomi Campbell, but has now decided to bring forward her plans.

Fertility specialists have warned, however, that celebrity success stories about later motherhood could convince women they can naturally conceive later in life or that fertility treatment is easy.

For most women aged over 45, the odds of becoming pregnant naturally stand at around one per cent.

Gemma’s gruelling fertility journey became apparent in 2017 during an episode of The Only Way Is Essex.

Broadcast to the nation, Gemma was told age 36 that she could not freeze her eggs and had a low egg count.

Earlier this year she was praying for a baby with her fiancé Rami Hawash. She is stepmother to his son Tristan, five (pictured)

Earlier this year she was praying for a baby with her fiancé Rami Hawash. She is stepmother to his son Tristan, five (pictured) 

During her 20s, Gemma was a size 10 (pictured) - but after she was diagnosed with PCOS, she gained weight

During her 20s, Gemma was a size 10 (pictured) – but after she was diagnosed with PCOS, she gained weight 

Gemma recently said she was pleased to hear that Tana Ramsay had welcomed her sixth child at the age of 49, giving her hope that she, too, can conceive in her 40s

Gemma recently said she was pleased to hear that Tana Ramsay had welcomed her sixth child at the age of 49, giving her hope that she, too, can conceive in her 40s 

What is PCOS? Causes, symptoms and treatment explained…

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.

Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. 

Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity.

Fertility may also be affected.

While the exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, insulin resistance caused by a highly refined and processed diet is believed to be one of the biggest triggers.

PCOS can be managed through diet, the contraceptive pill and other oral medications.

Source: Mayo Clinic 

This meant that the star’s fertility options would be limited.

The doctor strongly advised against egg freezing and said she had two options ahead of her: IVF with donor sperm or the use of a donor egg and sperm.

Gemma was also told her weight would have a negative impact on her chances of falling pregnant and has since been on a quest to lose weight naturally.

The reality star has had a rollercoaster of a time with her weight as she has battled with trolls for the last two decades.

During her 20s, Gemma was a size 10 – but after she was diagnosed with PCOS, she piled on weight.

She admitted she never saw the weight creep in during her 20s because she was using it as an emotional coping mechanism.

In the first two episodes of Everything I Know About Me, Gemma also shares insight into her childhood growing up in Essex, candidly detailing the bullying she endured at school. 

The former TOWIE star also opens up on her struggles with self-harming during her teenage years, detailing how she would take slimming pills when she was just 13 years old after facing cruel jibes about her weight.

For confidential support please contact the Miscarriage Association on 01924 200799 or email [email protected] 

Listen to Gemma Collins on the Mail’s Everything I Know About Me podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. New episodes released every Thursday, with the first two of Gemma’s episodes available now.

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