Intersex

Alternative Names

Disorders of sex development; DSDs; Pseudohermaphroditism; Hermaphroditism; Hermaphrodite

Definition of Intersex

Intersex is a group of conditions where there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals (the testes and ovaries).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Intersex can be divided into four categories:

Symptoms

The symptoms associated with intersex will depend on the underlying cause, but may include:

Treatment

Ideally, a team of health care professionals with expertise in intersex should work together to understand and treat the child with intersex — and to understand, counsel, and support the entire family.

Expectations (prognosis)

Please see information on the individual conditions. The prognosis depends on the specific cause of intersex. With understanding, support, and appropriate treatment, overall outlook is excellent.

Review

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/2/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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