Intersex, a condition when a person is born with two genders

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Intersex, a condition when a person is born with two genders
Intersex, a condition when a person is born with two genders

Intersex or intersex is a term to describe the condition of someone who is born with two different genders. It is estimated that about 1 in 1,000 babies worldwide are born with this condition. Previously, intersex conditions were known as hermaphrodites

People who are born intersex can look like a normal male or female, but have both male and female reproductive organs. For example, a man born with this condition has not only a penis, but also a uterus inside his body.

Intersex, a condition when a person is born with two sexes - Alodokter

And vice versa, a woman with an intersex condition can have both a uterus and a testicle on her body. This condition generally occurs due to genetic changes.

Intersex needs to be distinguished from transgender. A transgender person is born with only 1 gender, but he feels that his gender is not his real gender.

For example, a transgender person who is born male will feel that he should have a female gender. This causes such discomfort that he may have surgery to change his gender. Once their gender changes, they will be called transsexual.

Intersex Signs

Sometimes, intersex conditions do not show typical symptoms so that people who experience it do not realize that they are intersex. However, babies born with this condition can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Clitoral size is bigger
  • No vaginal opening
  • The lips of the vagina (labia) are closed or resembling a scrotum
  • Small penis size (micropenis)
  • There are no holes or openings at the tip of the penis
  • Scrotum or scrotum is empty and resembles the labia

Intersex conditions are usually only realized when the baby is an adult and enters puberty. In this case, people who had more of the biologically male traits as a child may appear more feminine after puberty.

Or vice versa, a person who looks like a girl as a child may start to look like a boy as a teenager.

The Causes of Intersex and Its Types

Women generally have a combination of XX chromosomes, while men have XY chromosomes. People born as intersex are thought to have different X and Y chromosome arrangements while in the womb.

Genetically, intersex can be divided into several types, namely:

1. 46, XX intersex

People born with this type of intersex have female sex chromosomes and female reproductive organs, such as ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. However, his external genitals look like male genitalia.

In addition, the lips of the vagina will be fused and the size of the clitoris will enlarge so that it looks like a penis. This type of intersex can be caused by several things, namely:

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Born to mothers who used testosterone therapy during pregnancy or suffered from ovarian tumors
  • Lack of aromatase, an enzyme that plays a role in converting male sex hormones into female hormones

2. 46, XY intersex

People born with this type of intersex have male chromosomes, but the external genitalia are not fully formed and resemble female genitalia. There are several causes of 46, XY intersex, including:

  • Androgen insensitivity syndrome
  • Disorders in the testicles, so they don't produce male sex hormones properly
  • Disorders with the hormone testosterone

3. 46, XX ovotesticular intersex (true gonadal intersex)

This type of intersex is the rarest type and the cause is not known for certain. People born as true gonadal intersex have both ovarian and testicular tissue.

They may also have an XX chromosome, an XY chromosome, or both with genitals that look like either a girl or a boy and can look different from the two.

4. Sex chromosomes intersex

Intersex can also occur if a person has a chromosome pattern other than XY or XX, such as having only one X chromosome (XO) or having an extra chromosome (XXY).

Babies born as this type of intersex can have internal and external reproductive organs such as male or female.However, they do not experience full physical development at puberty. For example, a child born with female sex organs may not experience menstruation.

Intersex Handling

Intersex is not a disease, but a biological phenomenon or variation. Therefore, there is no treatment for the intersex condition.

Medical treatment is only needed if the person born intersex has he alth problems related to the condition, such as having a uterus but no opening of the uterus, difficulty passing urine, or experiencing menstrual cycles but blood does not come out of the body.

Medical procedures such as genital surgery can be performed to make the genitals appear male or female.

However, this is not recommended or necessary until people born intersex are mature enough to make their own decisions and decide which gender to choose.

Intersex is a rare condition. If you or your child have intersex characteristics, don't hesitate to consult a doctor to be sure and get complete information about this condition.

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