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Types of Intersex Conditions

To get beyond a superficial level of understanding about people with intersex conditions, it may be useful to learn more about their diverse physical conditions (increasingly referred to medically as Disorders of Sex Development (DSD)).  By focusing on these physical characteristics, we hope to illuminate one aspect of intersex identity. However, people with intersex conditions are more than their physical conditions.

The vast majority of people with intersex conditions identify as men or as women with unusual medical conditions. While these people may have an intersex condition, they do not describe themselves as "intersex" or "transgender."  However, such people still face the stigma associated with these various conditions, including ridicule, medical objectification, and non-consensual surgeries.

A significant minority of people with intersex identify as intersex--and some identify as transgender. People with intersex who are unhappy with the gender they were assigned at birth are a significant minority. However, many adults (identifying as men, women, intersex, and/or transgender) with intersex conditions are unhappy with the medical care that they have received.

How the Body Works: Sex Differentiation

Note: Specific conditions are outlined very briefly and superficially below. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list of relevant medical terminology or issues.  This list is intentionally written at a very introductory level from a layperson's perspective. For more information, please refer to the additional more specific support resources listed or consult a medical professional.

Conditions with XY chromosomes

XY chromosomes commonly result in a reproductive and sexual anatomy that fits the typical definitions of male

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Conditions with XX chromosomes

XX chromosomes commonly result in a reproductive and sexual anatomy that fits the typical definitions of female

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Conditions with XX or XY chromosomes

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Conditions with neither XX or XY chromosomes

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Disclaimer: The information provided through TransFaith InterSections is intended to help educate transgender people and our allies about transgender health concerns. The information provided is general in nature and is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Feedback, suggestions, and corrections are welcome. Please contact us by email or by phone (215-840-2858)!